We’re going to keep it short and (not so) sweet today, as there really isn’t much to elaborate on from last night’s loss to the Houston Rockets.
It was very clear how the Rockets have won 16 games in a row. They put up 122 points via a 53.5% clip from the floor, which included going 17/33 from beyond the arc. OKC simply could not keep up, much like the majority of the NBA.
The dreaded third quarter reappeared, although not in its usual sluggish form. The Thunder were able to put up 29 points, but could not get the stops they needed. Houston shot 72% in the third frame, extended their lead to double digits, and that was basically all she wrote.
It wasn’t all pretty for the Rockets. In fact, they turned the ball over 21 times. OKC certainly didn’t help themselves by having 19 turnovers of their own, but the bottom line is that error department was not one-sided on Tuesday.
One more thing: Losing to Houston isn’t a bad thing. They’re one of the best team’s in the league, with arguably the most prolific offense on the planet.
What is bad? OKC hasn’t played a solid game since the all-star break. That’s seven bad games in a row. Not ideal.
Here’s the repetitive part that I’m going to keep as short and straightforward as I can.
THE DEFENSE - It stinks. You know it, I know it, and the team knows it, but nothing seems to be changing. At all. Yes, they miss Andre Roberson. WE ALL DO. But he’s not coming back this year, so that excuse needs to stop.
OKC oftentimes relies on help defense, which is fine, when the rotations are tight and swift along the perimeter. Lately they haven’t been, and Tuesday was another unfortunate example.
Paul George - PG’s three point shooting has been brutal since he entered the all-star break on fire. He was 2/8 from deep last night, which puts him at about 22% post-break. Prior to the all-star break, George was shooting 43% from three.
- Russ finished with 32 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds on 15/27 shooting. He also had 9 turnovers.
- Carmelo Anthony hit a three pointer midway through the first to pass Jerry West on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He now sits in 20th place. Melo was solid last night, finishing with 23 points on 8/18 shooting.
- The Thunder shot 11 free throws. The Rockets shot 34.
- OKC cut the deficit to 3 with just under seven minutes left in the third quarter, but within the blink of an eye, Houston went on a 15-3 run and never looked back.
A Look Ahead
The Thunder look to get back on track on Thursday when they face the Phoenix Suns at home.