Last night was weird. Fun at times, frustrating at others. Raymond Felton was the most hated person in the building and Melo got thrown out on a play that was initially an and-one in favor of OKC, all while Lil Wayne looked on. But no matter how you parse it, the Thunder are 0-4 in clutch time games.
There’s a lot of little things we can focus on from last night’s game, but let’s first look at the bizarre sequence of events that occurred with 20.5 seconds left.
Evan Turner fouled Russell Westbrook on a three point attempt in a game where Portland was winning by 4 points. Good fortune, especially since Russ has a history of these kinds of moments.
Even more interesting? Russ then stepped up to the line and missed three straight free throws. ALL THREE.
Last night was a game that OKC somehow kept close, despite playing a messy game all night. It wasn’t their best effort, but with under a minute left, it was a winnable game. That’s a positive takeaway. But eventually, this contest became a little less winnable because of Russ’ issues at the line, which have been evident throughout the young season. Last night, it finally hurt them. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’ll make him focus on straightening out his routine. Regardless, what was once an annoyance for the reigning MVP quickly became an issue that halted a comeback victory.
2-7 from the charity stripe in the final minutes of a game where the Thunder lost by 4. Not ideal.
- MELO GOT THROWN OUT FOR THIS. I want to rant but I won’t. I’ll just place the highlight below.
Carmelo Anthony has been ejected for this play.— Up The Thunder (@UpTheThunder) November 6, 2017
For this. pic.twitter.com/nIYRZh6XdG
- Billy Donovan wasn’t shy in his reaction to the questionable call. This is some feistiness that is rarely seen from the Thunder’s head coach.
Billy Donovan on the Carmelo Anthony ejection. pic.twitter.com/KT36R7vy0J— Brett Dawson (@BDawsonWrites) November 6, 2017
- Here are Russ’ comments regarding tonight’s officiating. As labeled in the tweet, his comments are NSFW.
Westbrook says the Thunder don’t get officiated the same way. Called some of the calls tonight “a bunch of bull****” (NSFW) pic.twitter.com/oWthhsG2T7— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) November 6, 2017
- Here’s official Rodney Mott’s comments on the play:
Pool reporter transcript with official Rodney Mott with regard to Carmelo Anthony's ejection: pic.twitter.com/6KrEj5UbE8— Royce Young (@royceyoung) November 6, 2017
- Raymond Felton was booed every time he had the ball last night, thanks to his 2011-12 season in Portland. He responded with 15 points on 7-11 shooting. It was awesome. The NBA is great.
- I said it earlier, but it’s worth noting again. The Thunder were great in close games last season. They’re 0-4 in “clutch time” games this year, 0-4 in division play, and 0-4 against Western Conference teams.
- I’m totally wrapped up in Russ’s free throws and the Melo ejection, so let’s change the subject. Here’s a great Steven Adams mix.
A Look Ahead
OKC looks to get back on the right track as they visit the Kings on Wednesday in their second west coast game in a row.
If you’re feeling down as a Thunder fan, take a look at Sacramento’s recent schedule. They’re currently on a seven game losing streak. Coming off of a three game road trip, the Kings will be happy to return home, but OKC will look to extend Sacramento’s woes.
De’Aaron Fox has had a nice start to his rookie campaign. The Kentucky product facing off against Russell Westbrook will be an intriguing matchup.