Russell Westbrook exploded for 36, and Kevin Durant had 34, but the Suns made 15 3-pointers and dropped 128 on OKC to hand the Thunder a rough loss. Keep reading »
Kevin Durant rocked the 76ers for 42 in three quarters of work, while Russell Westbrook registered the fastest triple-double in 59 years. Keep reading »
With 3:45 left in the third quarter, the Thunder were keeping the pesky Suns at arm’s length, holding off an explosive, talented team as the game headed towards winning time.
But everything changed in that 3:45. The Suns outscored the Thunder 21-2 as Gerald Green erupted, turning what appeared to probably be a comfortable win into a scrap to the finish. The Suns hit 12 of their 15 3s in the second half, dropping 67 on OKC in the final 24 minutes, which led to a 128-122 win for Phoenix.
Two potential culprits, depending on viewpoint: Keep Reading…
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 110.1 (6th), Suns – 109.3 (8th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 102.9 (4th), Suns – 106.4 (15th)
Pace: Thunder – 95.4 (9th), Suns – 95.7 (7th)
The Suns are good. And they’re desperate. They’re in a scrap for a playoff spot in the West, hanging on for dear life, making every game of massive import to them. The Thunder are coming off a big six-game homestand, following the All-Star break, so this is the first road game for OKC in almost three weeks. Keep Reading…
There can only be one winner. There can a bunch of losers, though. Like, there are so many losers. They’re all over the place. Look around, everyone, they’re everywhere. There goes one right across the street. But there can only be one winner.
Kevin Durant went and lit January fires in gyms throughout the league. The scenes after his games, his Rucker lockout majesty having been brought to NBA life all over a bunch of pros, were feverish. People were beside themselves that they were going to get to have a proper MVP race. Keep Reading…
Eric Freeman of BDL on Westbrook: “Those instincts are usually pretty strong. While Westbrook can be prone to bad decisions, that risk-taking is also what makes him so effective. Durant may have played at a career-best level while his co-star was out, but it’s apparent that Westbrook raises the Thunder’s ceiling and remains essential to their hopes of winning a title this June. OKC has some work to do to figure things out — they’re just 3-3 since Westbrook’s return — but reintegrating such a talented player is a problem any team would be lucky to have.”
Chris Strauss of USA Today: “Durant’s performance was his tenth 40-point game of the season and according to Elias, only he and James Harden have put up that many points without playing the fourth quarter. It was basically another day at the office. With both teams firmly set to be among the top seeds in their respective conferences, it would usually be easy for casual sports fans to get distracted by March Madness and MLB opening day and divert their attention away from the NBA until the playoffs start in six weeks. Instead, the league’s two best players are making each of their games appointment viewing.” Keep Reading…
Russell Westbrook does everything fast. So it’s really no big surprise that he was in such a hurry to get a triple-double last night against the 76ers. It took him 20 minutes and 17 seconds to record 13 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists, making it the second-fastest triple-double in history, behind only Jim Tucker who did it in 17 minutes in 1955.
That Russell Westbrook. He’s pretty good.
Jeff Caplan of NBA.com: “James is shooting 58.3 percent this season, an amazing clip superior to every forward and guard in the game. And it’s not even really close. He’s knocking down 38.4 percent of his 3-pointers. Over his last seven games, James has made 100 of his 157 shots, an absurd 63.7 percent, including 20-for-40 from beyond the arc. Only one other player in the league today is capable of such lethal precision. More than four years James’ junior, Durant last year joined only a handful of players throughout the league’s history to finish a season shooting 50 percent overall, 40 percent from beyond the arc and 90 percent from the stripe. This season, while leading the league in scoring at 31.6 points a game — four points higher than James’ 27.5 — Durant is shooting 50.7 percent, 39.6 percent and 88.0 percent. Each season both players keep narrowing the gap between shots attempted and made.”
Dan Devine of BDL on MVP: “That’s as it should be, and how it always should be; if we treat this stuff like politics, calling races before all precincts have reported, we miss out on the opportunity to appreciate truly transcendent moments sparking up in unexpected circumstances, like a random Monday night against Charlotte. With 43 days left in the regular season, the two greatest players in the game have created a circumstance where all we know is that we don’t know nothing. Monday night didn’t really change that … and that’s fine.” Keep Reading…
About halfway through the third quarter, I was knee-deep in Basketball Reference, frantically trying to understand what Russell Westbrook accomplished. Somehow, in only 21 minutes on the floor, he registered a triple-double (13 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists), making it the second fastest recorded ever in NBA history (Jim Tucker, 17 minutes in 1955).
That’s how crazy it was. Westbrook did something that required Elias to dig up the name Jim Tucker from 1955.
Westbrook had eight assists in the opening six minutes, then 11 at halftime. The Thunder were taking the hapless 76ers to task, as expected, but Westbrook’s electric performance was popping eyes, and sending us all to the Google machine. Keep Reading…
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 110.0 (6th), 76ers – 98.7 (30th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 103.2 (5th), 76ers – 109.3 (26th)
Pace: Thunder – 95.2 (11th), 76ers – 100.1 (1st)
Welcome Caron Butler! Now enjoy playing the 76ers. Here was the Sixers’ last starting five: Michael Carter-Williams, Thaddeus Young, Henry Sims, Hollis Thompson and James Anderson. That’s not a very good starting five in the NBA. But hey! You gotta play the game and you’ve got to finish with more points than your opponent, so you can’t take it for granted. Keep Reading…