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Thunder Views: Batman needs Robin, and Russ needs PG

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OKC’s supporting cast wasn’t there on Tuesday night, as KD and the Warriors escaped with a win.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports | Batman, Robin via Warner Bros

Russell Westbrook went into full takeover mode last night, while the rest of the Thunder... didn’t.

Russ finished with 44 points and 16 rebounds, but OKC still couldn’t get the job done against an undermanned Golden State Warriors squad. Westbrook shot 15/26 from the floor, while his teammates closed the night at a 23.7% shooting clip. Paul George and Carmelo Anthony definitely didn’t do their part, as the two combined for 32 points on 9/35 shooting. They were 1/7 in the fourth quarter. This isn’t to say that the Thunder weren’t getting good looks, the shots just were not falling last night.

As mentioned, they weren’t the only ones who struggled. The Thunder were 9/36 from deep and missed 9 of their 37 free throws. It sounds crazy to say, but with the way this team has been shooting from the line, 75.7% sounds pretty good.

26 of Russ’ 44 points came in the second half. He went off for 17 in the fourth quarter, when it seemed as though he might single handily find a way to win. Westbrook put the Thunder on the high side with just under two minutes remaining in the third, but the Warriors would regain the lead shortly thereafter and never relinquish it in the fourth.

Let’s not focus on the negatives from last night. Instead, let’s spotlight the chaotic playoff picture.


Following Tuesday’s loss, OKC slid to sixth in the West, while the Utah Jazz jumped up to the 5-seed. The Thunder are now tied in the loss column with both Minnesota and New Orleans, while being tied in the win column with the Jazz.

The Spurs faced the Clippers in TNT’s night cap on Tuesday, and fell at Staples Center, which then pushed Utah into the 4 spot via tiebreaker. So as of today, the Utah Jazz have home-court advantage in the Western Conference. Here’s the current playoff picture:

Seeds 4-9 are currently separated by 2 games or less.

It’s really amazing how much these standings change day-by-day, and it’s only going to get more exciting over the next week.

Quick Rumbles

  • On a positive note, OKC dominated the boards last night, winning the battle on the glass 58-40. They grabbed 22 offensive rebounds.
  • The Thunder had 16 turnovers, which Golden State turned into 18 points.
  • Other than Alex Abrines’ 8 points on 3/5 shooting, the Thunder bench was very quiet in a game where they really could have used them. The Warriors reserves outscored OKC’s bench 38-14.
  • Paul George had 20 points (5/19 FG), but was disengaged for a majority of the night. He recognized that postgame:
  • Here’s more on the Thunder’s shooting problems:
  • For those wondering, Kevin Durant finished with 34 points and 10 rebounds.

A Look Ahead

It certainly doesn’t get any easier from here on out, as the Thunder face the Houston Rockets on the road this Saturday.