Monday night at the ‘Peake was... something.
It started with OKC leading Sacramento 19-16 after the first quarter. An electric opening frame, to say the least.
Then we had arguably the most exciting moment of the night, when the ball got behind the backboard. Not your average pinned-to-the-rim-someone-jump-and-grab-it stuck, I’m talking behind the backboard where all of the cameras and wires are. Oh yeah, talk about excitement. Vince Carter pretended to jump, followed by the ball boy getting a broom. Said ball boy wasn’t tall enough, so they handed the broom to Kosta Koufos, who was able to knock it down.
That was without a doubt the best part of the first half, but we were lucky enough to get a little more content before the final 24 minutes began. The game was slightly delayed because Koufos knocked a camera wire loose with the broom. As Fred Katz said, “What an amazing sentence.
Oh yeah, and Russell Westbrook picked up his 99th triple-double of his career with a 17-11-10 line. This is his second triple-double in a row. More importantly? Russ had only 2 turnovers.
Yeah the third quarter was ugly and OKC had to grind their way to a win against a lottery-bound team, but let’s talk about Corey Brewer!
Since signing with the Thunder on March 1, Corey Brewer has played in 5 games for his former college coach. In four of those five games, Brewer has played 20+ minutes, scoring in double figures in each of them. Last night, he finished with 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals in 33 minutes. Prior to this stretch, he had only four games with 10 or more points all season.
It’s clear that Brewer is comfortable in his new surroundings. He looks confident and poised, as a veteran should, but he’s adjusting to new surroundings in a very swift manner. Billy Donovan and the Thunder’s veteran core have definitely helped that process, but Brewer has been everything OKC could have asked.
The Thunder acquired Brewer with the hopes of receiving a reliable 3-and-D source off the bench. “The Drunken Dribbler” has done just that, going 6/14 from beyond the arc thus far, while providing length to help strengthen OKC’s perimeter defense.
A five game stretch is a very small sample to judge anything off of, but when it comes to Corey Brewer, I’m a fan.
- With Monday’s win, OKC is now 40-29. They’ve jumped up to fourth in the wild Western Conference, while San Antonio suddenly finds themselves sitting in 10th.
- Steven Adams left last night’s game with a left hip contusion, but he remains undefeated in post-game press conferences:
Steven Adams refused to describe his hip contusion in any other way than using the Latin term: “Australopithecus afarensis” pic.twitter.com/CjaRf6pQNw— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) March 13, 2018
- With Adams at less than 100%, OKC uncharacteristically struggled inside. They were out-rebounded 49-43.
- Paul George and Carmelo Anthony each finished with 21 points and 6 rebounds.
- OKC’s three point shooting ultimately saved them on Monday - they were 16/36 from deep.
- The Thunder are 81-18 in regular season games where Russ picks up a triple-double.
A Look Ahead
OKC looks to pick up a fourth straight win in night two of their most recent back-to-back. They travel to Atlanta tonight in a game that is more important than it seems.
Following Tuesday’s game, the Thunder play 11 straight against potential playoff teams, so dropping one to the lowly-Hawks is not something the Thunder can afford.
Steven Adams’ australopithecus afarensis status remains uncertain.