The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Phoenix Suns in their home opener, 113-110. In a game that went to OT, the Thunder were propelled to a win by Russell Westbrook’s ridiculous 51-13-10 triple double. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that the Oklahoma City Thunder gave up 40 points to a rebuilding Phoenix Suns team in the first quarter at home.
That bears repeating....
The Oklahoma City Thunder gave up 40 points to a rebuilding Phoenix Suns team in the first quarter at home. Sorry. It didn’t sound any better the second time, and if the Thunder repeat that on Sunday, an improving Laker team won’t let them off the hook.
Let’s go right to the final box score:
Russell Westbrook recorded his first triple-double of the season, which is great, but he didn’t record an assist in the second half until near the end of the 4th quarter on Andre Roberson’s lone 3-point attempt and make. Westbrook didn’t corral the final dime to complete the tri-fecta until overtime.
After falling behind 15 points after the first quarter and as much as 18 early in the second, the Thunder began to claw their way back into the game. A ridiculous amount of blown opportunities at the rim didn’t help their cause, nor did a final total of 22 giveaways. By halftime the Thunder had cut the Suns lead to four and there was a sense that the Thunder had settled down, turned the corner, and would take care of business after the break.
That sense didn’t last long however. Within minutes of inbounding the ball to start the 3rd quarter, the Thunder found themselves in another double digit hole. Time and time again the Thunder cut the Sun’s lead back down to four only to be turned back.
Finally, finally, finally, with 5:38 remaining, Westbrook, cracked that 4 point wall with an old fashioned And-One 3 point play with 5:38 remaining. Westbrook, who finished the night with 51 points on an insane 44 shot attempts, then gave the Thunder their first lead of the game just under a minute later.
Westbrook’s ninth assist on Robes’ 3 gave the Thunder a two possession advantage with 2:39 remaining, but the Suns battled their way back and forced the game into overtime.
My apologies for a lack of details, but I spent much of this one with my eyes shut in frustration. Between turnovers, blown lay-ups, and 3-point brick after 3-point brick, (note the 23.8% gem from beyond the arc), it was a very difficult game to watch.
One thing is abundantly clear after this one. Westbrook needs some help out there.
Where in the heck is Anthony Morrow? Did he kick Billy Donovan’s dog? I know the man struggles defensively, but with 1.1 seconds remaining in regulation and possession of the ball in a tie game, most teams find having the 11th best 3 point shooter OF ALL TIME!!!!! ..... available to be useful, if only as a decoy. Further, a player with Morrow’s talent is nice to have when you are down one with 17 seconds remaining in overtime, your ball, shot clock off and most coaches usually put shooter like Morrow on the floor in those situations but....
THE MAN NEVER TOOK OFF HIS WARM UP SHIRT!!!!
The Thunder are 2 and 0, and I am not going to sugar-coat it. I don’t know why.