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Thunder Views: Russ and the giant Kiwi

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On a night where PG and Melo weren’t their best, Westbrook and Adams stepped up to the plate.

Original artwork: Sir Quentin Blake

Well it wasn’t pretty, but OKC was able to snag a win on Friday night against the Heat. They trailed entering the fourth quarter, but used a 41-point explosion over the final 12 minutes to escape with a win.

It felt like November in the ‘Peake for much of last night, as it was messy, inefficient, and just plain ugly. But of course, it’s March, and the Thunder are in the thick of the chaos that is the Western Conference, so Friday had much more significance.

Coming off a meltdown of epic proportions on Tuesday in Boston, the Thunder were able to handle last night’s fourth quarter with much better composure. In other words, Russ took over and Steven Adams continued his perfect night.

Spotlight

Westbrook shot 6/7 in Friday’s fourth quarter, scoring 17 of his 29 points in the final frame. He would add 13 rebounds and 8 assists to his line. The reigning MVP was able to control the tempo and fuel OKC’s fourth quarter scoring punch, which allowed them to grab their 44th win.

Steven Adams was phenomenal from start to finish on Friday, finishing with 24 and 12, while shooting an efficient 9/13 from the floor. The Thunder used the big man as their offensive centerpiece last night. Doing so allowed the OKC offense to open up the floor with Adams in the middle, which proved to be an effective gameplan with no Hassan Whiteside in uniform for Miami.

Quick Rumbles

  • Paul George had a rough shooting night, but came up with a clutch steal late in the fourth quarter to seal the deal.
  • OKC is now 7-1 with Corey Brewer in the starting lineup.
  • Raymond Felton finished with 10 points in 14 minutes.
  • Melo and PG were a combined 5/24 from the field last night. Not great.
  • The Thunder are back in fourth place in the West.
  • Here are some post-game clips:

A Look Ahead

The Thunder face the third-place Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night in a matchup with tons of playoff implications.

For future reference: Russ needs to average 12.5 rebounds and 8.5 assists over the next 8 games to average a triple-double for the season.