Control what you can control.
The Oklahoma City Thunder already secured a playoff spot, but tonight’s game was all about playoff positioning in the crazy Western Conference. The Thunder welcomed a tanking Memphis Grizzlies team that shut down most of their veterans and only suited nine players. Oklahoma City dominated the game and took home a 137-123 victory in Wednesday’s season finale. Russell Westbrook achieved another huge career milestone, as he became the first player to average a triple-double in back-to-back seasons.
The Grizzlies opened the game looking to hit first, playing with nothing to lose, they jumped out to an early 17-11 advantage. The Thunder quickly settled into the game, answered with a 26-8 run, led by Paul George’s hot shooting. OKC led 38-28 after the first quarter.
George’s hot shooting continued into the second quarter, he connected on all five of his three point attempts, and finished with 26 points at the half. Westbrook dominated the boards and controlled the tempo masterfully. He had a double-double with rebounds and assists before halftime. The Thunder continued to build their lead and fed off of George’s shooting and Westbrook’s pace. They outscored the Grizzlies 39-29 in the quarter and led 77-57 at the half.
The Thunder built their to many as 27 in the third quarter, but the Grizzlies did their best to make it a game. Dillon Brooks was outstanding tonight and he led a 33-15 run to close the third quarter. The Thunder only led 105-96 after three quarters.
OKC immediately took the momentum back in the 4th quarter after threes from Terrance Ferguson and Raymond Felton. The Thunder hit eight threes in the quarter alone and put this game out of reach. The game ended with some minutes for Dakari Johnson, Daniel Hamilton, Josh Huestis, and Mr. Thunder Nick Collison.
The Thunder shot 58% from the field and knocked down 20 threes on the night. OKC dished out 32 assists and pulled down 45 rebounds as a team. They also forced Memphis to 48% shooting and forced 13 turnovers.
George found his stroke, he dropped 40 points on 13-of-20 shooting, also knocked down eight threes on the night. Adams had an efficient 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting. Westbrook only scored six points but had 20 rebounds and 18 assists. Brewer scored 17 points before leaving the game with an injury in the 4th quarter. The Thunder bench chipped in 30 points.
Brooks led the Grizzlies with 36 points on 14-of-22 shooting. Ivan Rabb had a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Kobi Simmons scored 15 points, Ben McLemore put in 14, and Mario Chalmers had 13.
The Thunder finish the season with a 48-34 record. They will play the Utah Jazz in the opening round, they await the winner of the Jazz/Blazers game, which will determine whether the Thunder or Jazz will have home court advantage.