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Thunder Views: .500, three straight wins, and sympathy for Lauri Markkanen

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A win’s a win...I guess.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t pretty, but the Thunder found their way back to .500 last night. That’s great, and three straight wins in a row is nice, but I found myself feeling some sympathy for the Bulls last night. OKC coasted to an easy victory while shooting just 36% from the field and playing relatively uninspired basketball for the final 24 minutes.

The Bulls struggled to get anything going, and to be blatantly honest, were pretty brutal to watch. But hey, let’s not get sidetracked. The Thunder are finally back to .500 at 7-7, and seem(?) to be heading in the right direction.

Spotlight

Russ’s second quarter last night was without a doubt the highlight of the game. Westbrook had zero points when the Thunder finished the first up 27-7. In just nine minutes in the second quarter, the reigning MVP had 17 points on 4/5 shooting.

He was tenacious on both sides of the ball, and had some of his most aggressive dunks of the season thus far. Watch from 0:16-1:35 in the video below for his second quarter highlights.

Quick Rumbles

  • Carmelo had 18 points and 11 rebounds in his return to the floor. He came out hot with 9 points in the first quarter, and showed no signs of lingering injury.
  • Paul George didn’t score over 30 points last night. Turns out he is human. He finished with 13 and 5.
  • Jerami Grant was very effective in his 34 minutes of play, grabbing his first double-double with 15 and 11 to help OKC beat his brother’s Bulls.
  • Daniel Hamilton and Terrance Ferguson each played 3 minutes last night after helping the OKC Blue to a win on Tuesday. This was Hamilton’s NBA debut.
  • The Thunder were 32-37 from the free throw line tonight, which makes me irrationally happy.
  • The Bulls are not good. I don’t like to hate on other teams or players, but man, they don’t have much going for them. OKC was able to play unmotivated for the entire second half and still snag an easy W. There are a few bright spots, but they are few and far between. Poor Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn.
  • #OperationSaveLauriAndKris needs to be trending.
  • Russ’ pregame attire tonight was... very Russ:

A Look Ahead

Now comes the fun part. The Thunder travel to San Antonio and New Orleans before returning to OKC to face off against the defending champion Warriors. That’ll be a Friday, Monday, Wednesday schedule.

Thankfully Melo is back without a minute restriction, but the Thunder will be hoping for the return of Steven Adams for this tough stretch. They will surely need to be at full strength.