The Oklahoma City Thunder extended their current winning streak to four with an impressive win against the Heat in Miami. The Thunder started off the game with a few poor shots, but they quickly recovered to take the lead. Oklahoma City then put their foot on the gas, and they never let up as they led by double digits for much of the game.
Stache Bros Show No Mercy
Steven Adams and Enes Kanter are becoming one of the most dynamic duos in the paint whether they are playing together or separately. Over the last four games, the Stache Bros are averaging a combined 32.5 points per game, and they do not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Steven Adams started off strong by impacting the game early. He finished with 15 points on 7/10 shooting and 8 rebounds in only 23 minutes of play. Not only did his offense contribute to the win, but his defense on Hassan Whiteside was impressive. Whiteside finished with only 12 points on 4/11 shooting and 8 rebounds, both significantly lower than his season averages. Perhaps the most exciting play of the night was when Adams posterized Whiteside off a lob from Russell Westbrook midway through the second quarter.
Enes Kanter is proving himself to be a lead candidate for NBA’s 6th Man of the Year as he put up 19 points on 9/16 shooting to go with 8 rebounds in 33 minutes. Kanter’s minutes have varied throughout the season, but he has taken advantage of the extra play lately as he continues to show his ability to score in the paint and rebound as good as anyone in the league.
Thunder Bench Continues Scoring Tear
During the Thunder’s 4-game win streak, the second unit is averaging just over 46 points a game, which is how many they had tonight. In an area where Oklahoma City clearly struggled to start the season, the bench has begun to flourish, and there are several guys who are finding their niche with this team.
Aside from Enes Kanter, Alex Abrines had the most noteworthy performance off the bench scoring 14 points on 5/9 shooting from the field and 4/7 from beyond the arc. Abrines is averaging a little over 11 points over the last four games, and he has shot 13/26 from three in that same time period. Oklahoma City has struggled shooting the three throughout the season, but Alex Abrines appears to be blossoming into quite the threat from the deep.
Jerami Grant also had an impressive game off the bench by scoring 10 points, all in the first half. Grant was brought on to the team for his defensive abilities, and while that is definitely his forte, he has proven himself to get a clutch bucket when needed. Grant has rapidly made a name for himself with his ability to throw down slam dunks with authority, much like this one he had tonight.
Russell Westbrook Notches 15th Triple-Double
With 29 points, 11 assists, and 17 rebounds, Russell Westbrook earned his 15th triple-double of the season in only 32 games so far. Also impressive is the fact that this makes 6 triple-doubles by the end of the third quarter for Westbrook. Russ also joins Oscar Robertson as the only two players in NBA history with 30 triple-doubles in a calendar year.
Headed to Memphis
The Thunder will travel to Memphis for their first matchup of the season against the Grizzlies. Memphis has a 20-14 record and has dropped 5 of their last 7 games, including 3 of their last 4 at home, while Oklahoma City is on a 4-game win streak. Tip-off is set for 7 PM CST and will be televised on FSOK and ESPN. It will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.