Westbrook scores 30 as Thunder top Rockets 105-103By Kelly Sanders Nov 21, 2016
Wednesday night Harden and the Rockets visited Oklahoma City, with the Thunder boasting another highly productive guard in Russell Westbrook. While Harden struggled, Westbrook continued his torrid pace: 30 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists. Oklahoma City made 13 of 14 free throws. Victor Oladipo had season highs of 29 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunder. Trevor Ariza chipped in 17 points and Eric Gordon added 26.
Oklahoma City won the game 105-103, and Westbrook had the more productive night from an individual standpoint. The pair combined to shoot 21-38 from the floor, good for 55%. Harden also missed the Rockets' last, best chance, a wide open three off lovely ball movement that wasn't particularly close.
When asked if he considered the Rockets would have fouled him if they had the chance, Westbrook said, "Yeah, I thought about it". In the four games prior, ineffective two-way execution catalyzed Oklahoma City's travails.
Luckily for the Raptors, they have some depth behind DeRozan which doesn't cause them to collapse when he is on the bench, thanks to their improved defensive game: 106.8 points allowed per 100 possessions when he is on the court compared to 102.2 when he is on the bench. Steven Adams was ineffective on offense but he played through a hand injury, and with the significant amount of tape on his shooting hand it was easy to understand why his shooting touch was a bit wayward this evening.
Seriously, who's rebounding the ball if the bigs are jacking mid-range jumpers and three-point shots?
The final two points of Westbrook's night were the most important.
Missing open three-point shots and scoring less than 20 points is unlike Harden - but don't be surprised if he comes back with a bang in the organisation's next outing. Houston is 10th in the league in scoring at 107.8 points per game and fifth in 3-point shooting at 37 percent.
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In that game, Carroll's team trailed by four but had the ball on New England's one-yard linewith 26 seconds remaining. He rushed for 69 yards, but more importantly, rushed the ball 21 times. "It was a phenomenal win", said Wilson.
However, Westbrook and Oladipo stayed hot and carried the Thunder to a 65-63 halftime advantage. Just when it appears no one could take on a greater offensive burden than Westbrook, the Rockets offer Harden.
BOSTON - Isaiah Thomas scored 22 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter in Boston's victory over Dallas. Instead of going with the player who rolls, the Thunder kept two players on Harden, slowing Houston's offense. Orlando relies upon Ibaka similarly to how the Thunder relied upon Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook to make contributions on both sides of the ball.
Westbrook shook off comparisons to the Basketball Hall of Famer earlier in the evening. Houston's James Harden was impressed.
"This is a humbling moment for us", he said. "That's baller. Russell is a rare person". Loving, genuine. He deserves everything he gets. But Wednesday morning he announced Beverley wouldn't suit up and but would start Thursday night against Portland. When it came to finishing a job, though, whether in the form of a dunk, a game or, especially, an NBA Finals series, there wasn't a meaner streak in basketball.
"M.J.'s one of those guys, obviously, I'm a member of his brand".
Now, he's back to square one because of players relying too much on the three-ball.
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