Westbrook earns 30th triple-double and proves he’s the best closer in the NBA, defeating Utah, 109-106

Box Score

Four straight wins!

Give Russell Westbrook the MVP already. Westbrook earned his 30th triple-double of the season. He’s the best closer in the league and he proved that tonight. Russ scored 14 of the Thunder’s final 15 points in this game. He ended the night with 43 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

The Thunder started this game on fire from behind the arc, making 12 straight three-pointers at one point in the first half. Hell froze over in this game, and it was really fun to watch. They ended the first half shooting 12-of-13 from downtown, and Russ began the second half by hitting a ridiculous and-1 three-pointer on what was meant to be an intentional foul. OKC finished the night with a very solid 15-of-22 from behind the arc. This uncharacteristically great shooting would typically be enough for a blowout win, but Utah did a great job of keeping the game close.

Utah chipped away at a 13-point Thunder lead and outscored the Thunder by 8 points in the fourth quarter. With 48 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Joe Johnson hit a classic isolation jumper over Steven Adams putting the Jazz up by 4 points. That’s when the Russell Westbrook show took full effect. Russ brought the ball up the court and splashed a well-contested 3-point jumper over George Hill to make it a 1-point-game. When the Thunder were able to get a stop on the other end, it was Russ who grabbed the rebound and took all the way to the basket, hitting an and-1 layup to put the Thunder in the lead for good.

Utah had six players that scored in double-digits. They played great on both ends and weren’t shaken when OKC hit 12-three-pointers in a row. Quin Snyder might look like the headmaster of Slytherin, but he’s also a great basketball coach. Rudy Gobert, Rodney Hood and Gordon Hayward all played well, but the Jazz couldn’t stop the Thunder in transition. The Thunder were +16 on fast break points.

Utah had 17 more field goals attempted than OKC, despite the Thunder winning the rebounding battle by +9. The Thunder clearly shot more efficiently than Utah tonight as they scored three-pointers at a pace that I didn’t think they had in them. It was refreshing to see. OKC was also +7 in turnovers. Utah collectively had 7 turnovers tonight and Westbrook by himself had 8. That’s excusable because Russell Westbrook is playing out his mind. He’s going to continue playing out of his mind and he’ll continue to turn the ball over – and that’s okay for now. He’s playing with a historically high usage-rate and the turnovers are to be expected when he’s the only NBA-level playmaker on the court. Oladipo has missed the past few games and his return gives the Thunder another guy that can handle the ball. Combine that with Norris Cole replacing Semaj Christon as the backup point guard, and the Thunder might start moving up in the Western Conference seeding.

Notes

  • Norris Cole is Thunder-bound. I really like this pick-up for OKC. Norris Cole won’t move the needle for this team in a huge way, but it’s an improvement. Presti has done an incredible job of making incrementally positive moves for this team since KD left. Those incremental small moves have added up to make this team a lot better this season. Presti deserves a ton of credit.
  • Doug McDermott had 14 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist. He hit 4 three-pointers and played terrifically. This team desperately needed a small forward that could shoot, and Doug McDermott is quickly filling that need.
  • Russell Westbrook had a crazy first quarter and scored 18 points on a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the arc and got to the free throw line six times.
  • Gordon Hayward didn’t dunk on anyone; that’s a victory within itself.
  • Enes Kanter ended the night with 15 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block. The Big Turkey is making me wish it was Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for his post-moves and that amazing mustache.
  • Abrines has been en fuego as a starter. Tonight, he shot a perfect 3-of-3 from downtown and 4-of-4 from the field. It’s reasonable to make the argument that he should be the starting shooting guard. He is playing very well next to Westbrook. Oladipo is no doubt the better player, but maybe the Thunder can maximize both guys more by staggering Oladipo and Westbrook. Three games of Abrines starting is still a small sample size, but it’s worth considering. Evan Fournier started over Oladipo last year in Orlando. Maybe it happens again in OKC. It’s still too early to tell. Abrines and McDermott also might be a little redundant playing next to each other in the second unit. The more likely starting lineup change I see happening is Taj Gibson starting in place of Domas. Debate away!

Next Up: A West Coast swing with Portland up first at 9:30 pm CST on Thursday.

propsizzle
2017-02-28 23:44:00
First!
propsizzle
2017-02-28 23:44:00
Possibly, last as well...
DTVoyagin'
2017-02-28 23:46:00
first
DTVoyagin'
2017-02-28 23:47:00
Nice article Danel
thelaughingwiseman
2017-02-28 23:48:00
The Thunder bench is picking up in quality. I think Noris Cole can make an impact.
DTVoyagin'
2017-02-28 23:51:00
Wait... it was empty in here ... prop ... how
b1walker
2017-02-28 23:52:00
We're all on Discord
D_m_free
2017-02-28 23:53:00
I feel naked
D_m_free
2017-02-28 23:53:00
Probably because I am
Crow
2017-03-01 00:08:00
Sabonis is Billy D's Perk.
Thunder Blue
2017-03-01 00:10:00
Presti's agenda
Style Icon (#StartZachFaction)
2017-03-01 00:12:00
I'm touching myself right now
jabb
2017-03-01 00:13:00
So many people that deserved their negative comment to like ratio...all is lost.
Crow
2017-03-01 00:14:00
They should change in the playoffs at least. But game 4 would be stupid.
Crow
2017-03-01 00:14:00
Where? How?
Diqus
2017-03-01 00:15:00
Don't worry. We still know you are trash.
Alaska
2017-03-01 00:17:00
Warriors are signing Matt Barnes so they can be even more dislikeable
pepsi
2017-03-01 00:19:00
did any of you know snakes have knees?
harmlesslyfatal
2017-03-01 00:20:00
Jabb come join us https://discord.gg/5t2ub
Alaska
2017-03-01 00:20:00
They're signing and immediately waiving Calderon 😂😂😂
harmlesslyfatal
2017-03-01 00:20:00
lmao
vorghahn
2017-03-01 00:22:00
Temp DT is currently in Discord, move out. Livefyre was discontinued. Mods and ownership are looking into replacements. poop emojis included as well as voice chat, oh dear god https://discord.gg/RxEjCkF
b1walker
2017-03-01 00:22:00
https://twitter.com/espnsteinline/status/836822249839669248
Thunder Blue
2017-03-01 00:24:00
fools should have kept Harrison Barnes. When you win 73 games and make it to the Finals, you keep the crew together. Arrogance is their undoing.
Steve_Thunderfan
2017-03-01 00:25:00
I truly hope this community survives this.
pepsi
2017-03-01 00:25:00
at least they unleashed West Beast to its best
Diqus
2017-03-01 00:25:00
are you steven adams?
Shoot or shoot not
2017-03-01 00:25:00
Been playing some Horizon Zero Dawn so just doing a drive by post. If OKC want to stagger lineups. The lineups below make the most sense. Starters Russ Dipo McBuckets Taj Adams Bench Cole Abrines Robes Grant Kanter Ultimately there arent minutes to both develop Sabonis and play both Grant and Taj. So you may as well play Taj and try again next year with Sabonis. Honestly as much as i like Taj, Presti should have flipped him for a taller more C like asset that would be more useful as a complimentary piece.
Alaska
2017-03-01 00:35:00
No 🍆
Thunder Blue
2017-03-01 00:37:00
Doug looks like a total dweeb in OKC home whites, but thats fine because he gets bucketts
Thunder Blue
2017-03-01 00:41:00
One member of the group, Derek Young, told NewsOK.com: "I've really started to feel there are very close sort of cultural similarities between OKC and New Zealand. Small country, we're from. Small place you guys are. When everyone comes to New Zealand, we're really happy that they've come. We want them to think this is a nice place and we're hopeful they'll come back. It seems it's very similar to Oklahoma in that respect."
Steve_Thunderfan
2017-03-01 00:47:00
That's for me to know and you to find out... mate.
Thunder Blue
2017-03-01 00:51:00
they just need to enable auto-loading of comments and we will be fine
Yoni
2017-03-01 00:55:00
To average the TD for the season Russ needs to average at least 8.27 rpg and 9.31 apg for the rest of the season. Seems possible
Yoni
2017-03-01 01:01:00
Finishing 4 or 5 and means Russ probably has a better shot at MVP but also a second round meeting with the Warriors if we pass the first round.
Thunder Blue
2017-03-01 01:02:00
that could be ideal if KD is done for the season
Yoni
2017-03-01 01:04:00
I still dont know. I guess we would at least have a better shot
Funaki Faction
2017-03-01 01:16:00
Livefyre all is forgiven?
Spencer Pezdis
2017-03-01 01:39:00
hyperextended knee won't be for the rest of the season
Spencer Pezdis
2017-03-01 01:40:00
we would still be so overmatched. minus kd they're that 73 win team again
Spencer Pezdis
2017-03-01 01:44:00
Durants net value is so much bigger than what he adds to the warriors. basically he's making sure their other guys get a little more rest but they could score 135 just as easily without him if needed. such a huge waste of a supertalent.
The_FU
2017-03-01 01:55:00
Russ is MVP and we are top 4 in the West we got a title tilt let's see some magic
pepsi
2017-03-01 01:58:00
not without Barnes and last season's chemistry
The_FU
2017-03-01 02:05:00
He's a shooting guard Steph won the title Durant is second fiddle
Thunder Blue
2017-03-01 02:09:00
torn meniscus will
Thunderous12
2017-03-01 02:17:00
https://twitter.com/WojVerticalNBA/status/836852734791991297
ThotieBody
2017-03-01 02:21:00
I rather finish 6th and play Houston and than winner of spurs and Memphis
ThotieBody
2017-03-01 02:21:00
Damn
bondom34
2017-03-01 02:35:00
Wow
harmlesslyfatal
2017-03-01 03:03:00
this is ideal, but that's not going to happen. Plus, it's possible the Warriors could lose the number 1 seed if KD is out for the rest of the regular season or longer.
pepsi
2017-03-01 03:06:00
if snake is out till second round of playoffs I suggest tanking for 8th seed and eliminate them before he comes back
harmlesslyfatal
2017-03-01 03:07:00
No way we get the 8th seed now. Plus, that kills any and all momentum. Better to go for the 4 seed, get HCA in the first round, then with a little luck, we play the Warriors sans KD.
pepsi
2017-03-01 03:10:00
I was obviously joking ;) 4th could be out of our reach though
harmlesslyfatal
2017-03-01 03:11:00
I know you were. We're only 2 games out of 4th and we hold the tiebreaker with Utah atm. PLUS, we play Utah again next week. We're better than the Clippers and Memphis. We have the potential to go on a real roll here.
WhatInThunderNation
2017-03-01 05:08:00
Hey we got ourselves a new commenting system
b1walker
2017-03-01 05:39:00
DT must've been KD's spirit animal. Once it died he could no longer "basketball"
C_Dub
2017-03-01 05:56:00
Is it karmic justice KD got taken out by none other than Zaza Pachulia? On the same night Russ leads the Thunder to a come from behind win against the Jazz and notching a clutch triple double?
Spencer Pezdis
2017-03-01 06:01:00
His knee as soft as his psyche
Spencer Pezdis
2017-03-01 06:01:00
system makes it sound like someone put a lot of thought in it
Yoni
2017-03-01 06:07:00
Not really a come from behind. We lead for most of the game. But yes if you believe in that type of stuff. These type of injuries are more unfortunate than anything else.
Ya Mudda (Barack Odrama)
2017-03-01 06:12:00
Kd goes down the same day dt dies....🤔🤔🤔🤔
Spencer Pezdis
2017-03-01 06:13:00
i want him on the court when russ closes them out in game 7
Spencer Pezdis
2017-03-01 06:15:00
kd is basically dt: full of shit
Kenneth Reese
2017-03-01 06:22:00
Did the thunder pick up Norris Cole?
b1walker
2017-03-01 06:23:00
yep
b1walker
2017-03-01 06:50:00
https://twitter.com/mikewiseguy/status/836920545384017921 Let's pump the breaks
Yoni
2017-03-01 06:52:00
HA. So they WILL destroy us in the second round then
michael leal
2017-03-01 07:03:00
Someone post the warriors stats with iggy in the starting line up instead of kd
whynotruss
2017-03-01 07:14:00
regardless of the severity, the good thing with this injury is that it prevented the warriors from getting calderon
whynotruss
2017-03-01 07:16:00
i personally think the thunder will end up as the 5th seed, but if we sneak into 4th...russ HAS to get the mvp, right?
durantula
2017-03-01 07:35:00
¿En fuego? Eso no existe, no es lo mismo que "on fire", en España sería ardiendo.
Most Athletic Backcourt
2017-03-01 07:37:00
If KD is out for 4 to 6 weeks, what are the chances GSW could slip to the 2 seed? And how much better of a chance would we give San Antonio with home court advantage in the Western Conference Finals?
b1walker
2017-03-01 07:41:00
I tend to believe the Undefeated in this case. Woj is probably getting info from someone who is involved in the Barnes signing
Luke
2017-03-01 07:42:00
"Dougie McThunder Buckets" is the worst thing I have ever heard
Legendary_Dork
2017-03-01 07:45:00
or its the BEST thing you have ever heard! either/or
TMB
2017-03-01 07:45:00
just sit back and enjoy it
KetelOne
2017-03-01 07:46:00
I'll raise you a Si Si Si Si Si Senor
Business Casual
2017-03-01 07:54:00
This is what KD meant by the hardest road
Cray Allred
2017-03-01 07:57:00
someone define bittersweet
michael leal
2017-03-01 07:58:00
Yo, lady just came in with bear claw necklace from a bear her husband killed in alaska.... anyone seen Lasky lately?
Legendary_Dork
2017-03-01 08:00:00
nah fuck KD, i dont like injuries but that hardest road shit was bogus.
Shoot or shoot not
2017-03-01 08:01:00
For anyone wondering right now GSW are 50-10 while the Spurs are 45-13. So technically the Spurs are close enough to make things interesting. Though gaining 4 games in a 22 game stretch would be tough
Legendary_Dork
2017-03-01 08:04:00
not really. GS could slip to the second seed easily. spurs gonna spur
Voeg
2017-03-01 08:07:00
I predicted this at the beginning of the season.
Legendary_Dork
2017-03-01 08:08:00
actually i did too lol
Alex
2017-03-01 08:09:00
Disqus still trash, that is all, Thunder Up
Legendary_Dork
2017-03-01 08:10:00
discord FAM! lol
Eallen7
2017-03-01 08:10:00
gimme dat discord link please
Voeg
2017-03-01 08:11:00
No respect...
Legendary_Dork
2017-03-01 08:11:00
https://discordapp.com/channels/286225070899068929/286225070899068929
Legendary_Dork
2017-03-01 08:12:00
i have it bookmarked lol
BallSoHard
2017-03-01 08:14:00
Is everyone here or in discord?
Legendary_Dork
2017-03-01 08:14:00
both. discord is a tiny bit better in my opinion. the voice chat option is awesome
BallSoHard
2017-03-01 08:15:00
link?
JimboSlice
2017-03-01 08:16:00
2 years ago, we're all sitting here laughing at the Heat for having Norris Cole, worst PG who thinks he's the best, and now he's an improvement. Not sure if this says more about Presti or about how bad Semaj is, or both
Shoot or shoot not
2017-03-01 08:16:00
Lets say GSW without KD for a bit go 14-8 down the stretch. That reems reasonable given how much Referee lovin they get. The Spurs would need to go 19-5 to be tied or 20-4 for that 1 seed. Its not impossible but unless GSW Drop some truely inexplicable games they are much more likely to be the 1 seed San Antonio would need to go 20-4 for that No1 seed
Shoot or shoot not
2017-03-01 08:19:00
On the plus side this upcomming draft is loaded with PGs and its going to be virtually impossible for Presti to Fuck Up next years team. He even has 2 spare roster spots to dump some deadweight
Legendary_Dork
2017-03-01 08:19:00
see below, i linked it for @disqus_aKPLbiup9p:disqus
Legendary_Dork
2017-03-01 08:20:00
it shows how bad semaj is
Lostonesdagawd
2017-03-01 08:24:00
damn DT done
Anonymous12345
2017-03-01 08:31:00
Has anyone made a warriors lost KD on 3-1 joke yet?
OKCJim
2017-03-01 08:35:00
Abrines up to 39.4% from 3 58.5% TS. Justin sticking to his guns on this one?
OKCJim
2017-03-01 08:35:00
I guess our accounts are starting over?
OKCJim
2017-03-01 08:40:00
Draft Express has 0 PG's in it from 11 to 36
Mocha2689
2017-03-01 08:46:00
I kinda wished Matt Barns would've signed with the Cavaliers. Just because I dislike the warriors..
_stache
2017-03-01 08:48:00
I want to see us play against a Houston, clippers, or raptors to see how our new guys look against 2nd tier contenders
reesefinch
2017-03-01 08:50:00
Great game last night. Watching the Thunder make 12 3-pointers in a row was surreal. And, Russ was amazing in the last 2 minutes.
Alex
2017-03-01 08:56:00
If anyone wants to, we have been on Discord since early yesterday afternoon. It's a pretty nice chat app for those who haven't used it. A lot of us have migrated over there. Here is the link to join us. https://discord.gg/sCBQB8h
OKCJim
2017-03-01 09:01:00
Last 4 games Jerami Grant has 35 points on 13 shots.
KingGondo
2017-03-01 09:01:00
Jawun.
OKCJim
2017-03-01 09:02:00
https://twitter.com/WarriorsPR/status/836954069839282179
OKCJim
2017-03-01 09:04:00
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yoVVJNL4J4
b1walker
2017-03-01 09:04:00
4 weeks, out indefinitely
b1walker
2017-03-01 09:05:00
I called the MCL sprain
AlexR44
2017-03-01 09:19:00
I'm calling it. Presti will do whatever he can to get Harry Giles in this upcoming draft.
LoudCitian
2017-03-01 09:25:00
He's actually going to have 3 spots open for sure and possibly 4 depending on what they do with Robes. Gibson, Cole, and Collison will all be UFAs.
LoudCitian
2017-03-01 09:25:00
Love me some Jerami Grant.
OKC-Brazil
2017-03-01 09:36:00
What happened to DT? :(
pherzu
2017-03-01 09:38:00
Nothing good.
MyNameIsEmoji
2017-03-01 09:38:00
Giles is garbage
Anonymous12345
2017-03-01 09:40:00
Now discord is blocked at my work. Farewell MF, I hated every last one of you.
reesefinch
2017-03-01 09:42:00
Livefyre died and a lot of people started posting some place else. Current set up is replacement for Livefyre but they are supposedly also looking at alternatives.
AlexR44
2017-03-01 09:45:00
7'3 wingspan though.
propsizzle
2017-03-01 09:54:00
To those who couldn't get your avis to upload, it works now. I think the issue was when AWS went down yesterday.
Alex
2017-03-01 10:00:00
@propsizzle:disqus hi
D_m_free
2017-03-01 10:06:00
This 3-1 stuff kind of eerie now
MyNameIsEmoji
2017-03-01 10:08:00
I just came by to get my things. I'll miss this place.
Lostonesdagawd
2017-03-01 10:12:00
this place use to be cool
Luke
2017-03-01 10:14:00
Semaj looking off an open McDermott to airball a contested long 2 to end the 1st was a pretty good encapsulation of his play this season
OKCJim
2017-03-01 10:14:00
Og Anunoby is a 6'8 wing with a 7'6 wing span.-
Dvsn
2017-03-01 10:15:00
This shit like WSHH but more trash
Lostonesdagawd
2017-03-01 10:19:00
get In the app fam
OKCJim
2017-03-01 10:22:00
So we have Russ/Oladipo/Roberson/Sabonis/Adams Cole/Abrines/McDermott/Gibson/Kanter/Grant We don't need all of these. Cole and Sabonis are pretty clearly the worst 2. So go... Russ/Oladipo/Roberson/Gibson/Adams Pull oladipo 6 minutes in to get Abrines some decent time with Russ and then bring Oladipo back in when Russ goes out. So 2nd unit looks like this... Oladipo/Abrines/McDermott/Grant/Kanter. I'm intrigued to see this group. Oladipo with Abrines/McDermott/Kanter should be pretty good offensively.
Dougie McThunderBuckets
2017-03-01 10:24:00
Abrines is a better starting option next to Robes and Russ
Dougie McThunderBuckets
2017-03-01 10:25:00
I wonder how many ppl wanted KD's injury to be season ending just so this shit could be fair
Tricia Status
2017-03-01 10:27:00
We waiting for the Bolts?
Tricia Status
2017-03-01 10:28:00
hey hey theres an app now? cool
Dougie McThunderBuckets
2017-03-01 10:31:00
"The coaching staff is great, Billy was awesome, just as far as being hands on, talking to me, and thats something I haven't had in a while" - Taj
Tricia Status
2017-03-01 10:32:00
was asking the same
Dougie McThunderBuckets
2017-03-01 10:32:00
SHOTS FIRED!
Mocha2689
2017-03-01 10:33:00
Is Norris Cole our best fit, or shoud the thunder got Chalmers?
00000000
2017-03-01 10:34:00
Its not even the same cant go back on old arguments because dont even know who's here lol. But anywho i told yall hopefully yall out there about abrines . Boy can play, we dont need worldbeaters just consistent contributors who play their role. Now lets figure one out for ola Less keyboard warring for me it seems with the change from livefyre. I might miss it already
Dougie McThunderBuckets
2017-03-01 10:36:00
Chalmers post injury probably ain't the same. Cole seems like a better fit in lineups next to Westbrook too
KetelOne
2017-03-01 10:36:00
Tricia??? for real?
OKCJim
2017-03-01 10:47:00
Not defensively. He's a better shooter. That's it.
f5alcon
2017-03-01 10:51:00
The rumors have been that chalmers has not looked good in workouts and multiple teams have worked him out. Cole at least was playing in China and healthy.
Johnny Twolves
2017-03-01 10:58:00
Somebody post the Discord link?
Johnny Twolves
2017-03-01 10:58:00
https://discordapp.com/channels/286225070899068929/286225070899068929
OKCJim
2017-03-01 11:04:00
You can dislike now
Alex
2017-03-01 11:07:00
The real party is over here at this link https://discord.gg/sCBQB8h
Tricia Status
2017-03-01 15:44:00
Just seeing this. For some reason this morning I said let me come back to my old crib. Then saw the comments section had a technical melt down :(
Jacob Carpenter
2017-03-01 16:34:00
I am very excited about the newest additions to the team. I think all three players will prove valuable.