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Thunder Views: Russ to the rescue

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The Thunder had a big lead, blew it, and then snuck out with a win. Last night was weird.

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder led by 23 points at one point in the 1st quarter on Thursday night, but entering the fourth quarter, they trailed 90-85. They put up 44 points in the first twelve minutes of the game, only to see it vanish.

Looking at the game as a whole, last night was kind of like a throwback to earlier this season. We even had a return of the dreaded third quarter lull.

It was eerily similar to the last time OKC was in Sacramento, where they blew a 17 point lead and lost 94-86. All signs were were pointing to an identical outcome, but Russ stepped in to save the day.


Russ wasn’t great. Yeah he had his 18th triple-double of the season, but he also had eight turnovers. His shot wasn’t really falling last night. In fact, he was 0-5 from beyond the arc with a second remaining in the game, but he made that last second count.

Crisis averted.

Quick Rumbles

  • Paul George and Carmelo Anthony had no issues from deep. They combined for 10 threes and had 26 and 23, respectively.
  • OKC’s perimeter defense was an issue again last night. Sacramento hit 12 threes.
  • The Thunder would have fallen to 7th in the West if they fell to the Kings. Instead, they’re just 1.5 games back of the third-place Spurs.
  • The previous bullet shows what a mess the Western Conference currently is.
  • Sure, OKC almost lost to the Kings, without De’Aaron Fox, but they didn’t. They found a way to win, and at this point, that’s all that matters.

A Look Ahead

The Thunder will have to step up their level of play quickly, they travel out west to face off against the Warriors on Saturday night.

They’ve had no problem getting up for big games this season, specifically against Golden State. OKC is 2-0 vs the Warriors this season.