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Erik Horne (The Athletic) says that the Thunder were on the receiving end of some lessons in the loss to the Lakers. “Across the hall, half the players had abandoned the silent Thunder locker room before Gallinari stepped into the scrum. The Thunder — a mix of veteran and young players — had a lesson learned throughout the roster. ‘If you want to win against good teams, you have to play for 48,’ Gallinari said. ‘It happened already that we were down by 20 or 30 and we can come back, but it’s not going to happen every time.'”
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander says the Lakers embarrassed the Thunder. “I think we were just embarrassed, and we knew what we needed to do going into the game to give ourselves a chance to win, but we didn’t do it in the first half. I think we just tried to do it a little hard and a little bit more in the second half, but it obviously wasn’t enough.”
One silver lining though: Justin Patton nailed his first three-pointer as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder:
Kelly Iko (The Athletic) delves into Westbrook’s emotional return to Oklahoma City. “By the time the video ended and the lights returned, Westbrook’s eyes became watery. Chesapeake Arena was rocking, a standing ovation for a man it watched grow from an 18-year-old kid into a 30-year-old man and father. MVP chants rang through the stadium as they had for all those years, watching Westbrook pile triple-double after triple-double. The entire Rockets organization was on their feet as well, cheering him on. It was so loud, no one could even hear as the announcer listed off the rest of the Rockets starters, even Harden.”
There’s no love lost between Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo, and per Broderick Turner (Los Angeles Times), Rondo thought Paul was playing a little dirty on Saturday. “Paul fouled Rondo with 8 minutes and 26 seconds left in the third quarter. Rondo doubled over in pain and refused to leave the game when coach Frank Vogel tried to insert Alex Caruso. Rondo later had a discussion with referee Sean Wright, wanting to know why there wasn’t a review on the play in which Paul committed the foul. ‘I just felt like that if that was me, I would have been thrown out or it would have been held up for a review,’ Rondo said. ‘That’s all I told him. They wanted to move on so quickly from the play and didn’t really know what happened.'” Rondo also added that he didn’t think it was a “clean play,” but refused to elaborate further.
Charles Barkely thinks Steven Adams is one of the most underrated players in the NBA. “I think [Utah Jazz centre] Rudy Gobert and Steven Adams are the two most underrated players in the NBA,” Barkley said on TNT’s Inside the NBA. “Steven Adams is unbelievable but I personally believe [Oklahoma City] have to be sellers,” he says.
Kendrick Perkins continues to talk about his Twitter fight with Kevin Durant–issuing an apology on The Jump. The apology wasn’t to Durant, though. It was to Westbrook.
Former Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas gave his unsolicited opinion on the KD-Perkins beef, including putting the OKC ownership on blast for trading James Harden and saying that Durant “had no choice” because the Thunder were “moving backwards in progress.”
Steven Adams, on the other hand, was asked about the feud and said it was the result of boredom and wasn’t that interesting:
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