The home-standing Oklahoma City Thunder erased mounting anxieties by outlasting a determined Memphis Grizzlies squad 114-102.
Russell Westbrook’s surreal game-ending 15-0 scoring tear cancelled OKC’s three-game winless drought. Additionally, the six-time All-Star netted triple-double #25 of his notable campaign —while punishing Memphis with 38 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists.
Westbrook’s clutch display also included a pair of icy triples to downturn the Grizzlies’ chances in the teams’ third meeting on the year.
This is one of many reasons why the entire state of Oklahoma loves Nick Collison. Pure hustle and sacrifice. pic.twitter.com/VMSCJVLhYH— Up The Thunder (@UpTheThunder) February 4, 2017
To accentuate Westbrook’s heroics, Oklahoma City’s bench added 45 points on 16-of-24 shooting. Reserves Joffrey Lauvergne (16), Anthony Morrow (15), and starter Steven Adams (16 points, 13 rebounds) each offered vital contributions to bring the Chesapeake Energy Arena faithful to a frenzied pitch.
The Thunder won the battle of the boards 48-29, while outscoring the Grizzlies 25-9 in second-chance points.
Amid a felled three-game unbeaten run, Memphis was led by Marc Gasol’s 31 points. Mike Conley (18), and Zach Randolph (16) each demonstrated grit throughout a competitive, yet unsuccessful endeavor.
With the win, Oklahoma City’s record improves to 29-22. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies drop to 30-22.
- Joffrey Lauvergne’s overall performance. Lauvergne connected on 3-of-4 outside attempts, and grabbed a workman-like eight rebounds.
- OKC’s three-point shooting: The team finished 13-of-29 from deep.
- Cameron Payne’s scoring: Payne finished with an efficient nine points, and cut his careless mistakes to a minimum.
- Thunder Bench: Excellent showing in the wake of Kanter’s injury. This is the resilience and resourcefulness that has defined the better moments of Oklahoma City’s season.
- Russell Westbrook: Because, Westbrook.
- Nick Collison: “Hair Jordan” upped the Thunder’s overall intensity against the physical Grizzlies.
- Free-Throw shooting: The Thunder left a significant eight points at the line on 25-33 foul shooting.
- Domantas Sabonis: This easily was the rook’s worst game of the year. Domas committed five turnovers, two fouls, and shot just 1-of-4 in eleven minutes of play.
- Victor Oladipo’s FG%: 3-of-14 FGM isn’t optimal.
- Turnovers: Save for Westbrook’s monster fourth-quarter, the Thunder almost gave this game away, literally.
Star of the Show
- Thunder bench/Russell Westbrook: The Oklahoma City Thunder do not win this contest without the bench and Westbrook adamantly refusing to wilt as Memphis made a strong run.
- Alex Abrines (Back Spasms) missed his third straight contest.
- OKC now sports a 17-7 home record.
- The Thunder avoided their first four-game losing streak since mid Nov.
- Oklahoma City holds a 2-1 season-series lead over Memphis.
- Russell Westbrook now has 62 career triple-doubles (5th all time).
- Westbrook made all 17 free-throw attempts vs. Memphis
In summary, tonight’s victory could serve as a touchstone moment for a reeling Oklahoma City Thunder collective. This is the kind of edifying achievement that breeds momentum.
We will see if that momentum accompanies OKC into Sunday’s 3 PM ET home tilt vs. the Portland Trail Blazers.