In their first game without Russell Westbrook due to an ankle sprain injury, Oklahoma City looked to extend their win streak to six games on the road versus the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers, who entered the game 1-9, were supposed to be an easy matchup for the Thunder. However, Oklahoma allowed the Cavaliers to linger around and had to fight to pull out this victory. After the Cavaliers made a 13-2 run to tie the game at 80 apiece with just seven minutes remaining in the game, Oklahoma City pulled away late to win 95-86.
This was not one of the prettiest games of the year for the Thunder. They struggled to score in the half court, evident by only scoring 95 points overall. As a team the Thunder shot under 50 percent from the floor, and just 26 percent from three.
- Dennis Schroder got the start in Westbrook’s absence and carried the offensive load. He helped initiate better ball movement in the second half with his penetration to the basket. Also, he posted a season high 28 points to go along with seven rebounds. Schroder could have scored over 30 if he didn’t miss some point blank shots.
- Something to take note of, is Oklahoma City’s defense did not take a hit with Westbrook out. Even though, they were playing a Cavaliers team without their star Kevin Love playing, they still held them to only 86 points. Oklahoma City’s length on defense bothered the Cavaliers all night. The Thunder wound up with 13 steals and nine blocks on the night. In addition, forcing the Cavaliers to shoot under 40 percent from the floor, and under 30 percent from three.
- Finally, even on a bad offensive night the Thunder produced some great highlights. Paul George had a deep three at the end of the first half, that gave the Thunder a 48-40 lead going into halftime. The three also made Steven Adams do a little happy dance heading into the locker room. Meanwhile, Terrance Ferguson showed his athleticism with a poster dunk over Rodney Hood.