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Thunder Views: Crunch time, Paul George, and the Kiwi-step

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Steven Adams is a gift from the basketball gods.

Last night, OKC made the plays in crunch time that they mostly hadn’t through the first 20 games of the season. It was satisfying, promising, and maybe misleading, but we had the first enjoyable game since the Thunder defeated Golden State last week.

No matter how you cut it, Friday was the Paul George and Steven Adams show at the ‘Peake.

Spotlight

To nobody’s surprise, the Thunder got out to a 21 point lead last night, but once again watched it vanish as Minnesota was able to find their way back into the game. OKC fans no longer expect the Thunder to hold onto these leads, as they’ve gotten used to early cushions disappearing in the blink of an eye. The only difference last night was that Billy Donovan’s bunch was finally able to hold on. This was the Thunder’s first win by fewer than nine points this season.

Steven Adams was tremendous last night. OKC’s big man was 11-11 from the field and finished with a career high 27 points. He would only log 32 minutes thanks to some foul trouble, which makes his stat line even more impressive.

Adams also provided us with the highlight of the night. I present to you, the Kiwi-step (courtesy fellow Stache Bro Enes Kanter):

The only thing that could’ve made that better was if Adams gave us one of these after the break (but you can see Russ doing it for him when he jumps off the bench).

We can’t forget about Paul George. He finished with 36 points, 9 assists, 4 rebounds and went 11-11 from the line, including the FT’s that sealed the deal. I won’t point out his defensive prowess, because he was effective as usual on that side of the ball.

Quick Rumbles

  • Russell Westbrook had an off night. 15 points, 14 assists and 9 rebounds is quite the line for an “off night.” His 7 turnovers and 6-21 shooting (0-8 3FG) put a damper over his widespread stats, as he continues to struggle to find his shooting touch this year.
  • OKC shot 51.9% from the field last night while going 21-22 from the free throw line.
  • There was a Nick Collison sighting last night.
  • The Thunder posted 42 points in the first 12 minutes last night, which was good for their highest scoring quarter of the season.

A Look Ahead

OKC host the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday. They’ll look to continue their winning ways in hopes of turning their early season woes around. If you recall, their previous game against the Spurs was one of many where OKC controlled much of the contest only to fall apart late. Kawhi Leonard is not expected to be back in the line-up, so once again OKC will have the upper hand, but must execute as they did against the Wolves if they want to see a different outcome.