OKC wasn’t great on defense last night, but managed to come out with key stops in the 4th and a win in game two of their most recent back-to-back. A solid victory against a Clippers team that has been playing very efficient basketball over the last week or so. This loss ends the Clips’ four-game winning streak. If we’re talking efficiencies, the Thunder have been right up there with the best.
This was evident as OKC outscored the Clippers 33-20 in the fourth quarter thanks to strong interior defense and tremendous ball movement.
Let’s talk more about the offense.
The Thunder have scored 260 points in their two-night card at Staples Center. Not too shabby. Much of this was once again thanks to Russ, PG, and Melo, who’ve looked very sharp lately.
Westbrook got his 13th triple-double of the season, finishing with 29-12-11 on 11/24 shooting. Melo continued his hot streak as well, leaving night two at Staples with 22 points on 9/12 FG, which brings his combined LA stand to 43 points on 17-26 shooting, including 6-11 from 3-point range. Paul George led the scoring charge with 31 on 12/16 shooting.
George has been absolutely killing it from deep as of late. In his last six games, George is 27/46 from beyond the arc. He was 5/8 from long range on Thursday night and his shot attempts are consistently coming within the rhythm of the offense. The L.A. product certainly enjoyed the back-to-back set in his hometown.
The trio combined for 82 points tonight, which is the second most they’ve had as teammates. The most? Sunday against the Mavericks when they had 84. These guys are clicking.
- NSFW, but phenomenal:
NSFW: Russ pours water on Melo during the postgame interview. Melo realizes its after midnight on FSOK. pic.twitter.com/dBI1zMEEkY— Up The Thunder (@UpTheThunder) January 5, 2018
World famous center Steven Adams knows what that means for the Thunder communications team.
The night did provide one fantastic Steven Adams moment. I asked Adams after the scrum if he saw Melo's interview. He said, "No, was it trash?" I told him about the MFer. And Adams looked right at the Thunder's head PR guy and goes, "How's your job right now, mate?"— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) January 5, 2018
- Westbrook also got George, but his reaction was a little more subdued:
"That's cold!" @russwest44 helps @Yg_Trece celebrate a victory over the Clippers pic.twitter.com/ALePKwn9ty— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) January 5, 2018
- Steven Adams had 12 points and 9 rebounds on 5/11 shooting.
- Terrance Ferguson had 11 points in his second straight start. Unfortunately there were no windmills this time.
- Raymond Felton contributed 12 off the bench in 20 minutes of action.
- Jerami Grant was 4/5 from the field and finished with 8.
- Westbrook spoke with Baker Mayfield courtside after the final whistle last night. I’d pay to be a fly on the wall during that conversation. Sounds like PG might be in the dog house:
@baker_mayfield6 Brodie my fault! Lol didn’t recognize you ✊ still my guy— Paul George (@Yg_Trece) January 5, 2018
A Look Ahead
OKC wraps up their three-game road trip in Phoenix on Sunday. They’ll be without Andre Roberson for this one.
Starting the new year with a 3-0 road trip to begin 2018 would be a nice response to two straight loses that closed out 2017.