The Thunder entered tonight’s game struggling on the road, but tonight was not the case. Oklahoma City started off strong in the first quarter making 54% of their shot attempts as they finished the period with a 29-24 lead. The Thunder continued their success in the second quarter by holding the Raptors to 37% from the field as they entered halftime with a 58-48 lead.
Oklahoma City has struggled at times to come out of halftime with energy by allowing opponents to make a run, but that was not the case tonight. The Thunder came out firing on all cylinders making 62% of their attempts and building their lead to 97-70. At this point, Oklahoma City’s starters began to be replaced to get some rest as the game was clearly in hand. The Thunder finished the game strong winning their 4th in a row 123-102.
Team Effort Fuels Win
The Thunder once again put together one of their best performances of the season tonight. Right from the start of the game Oklahoma City seemed to be in rhythm both offensively and defensively. Everyone seemed to come together for this win, including every bench player that received significant playing time. The Thunder finished with seven players in double-digit scoring. It will be hard to find a team that can come out on top of this Thunder team when everyone plays the way they did tonight.
Despite the impressive defensive performances that the Raptors have put together this season, every Thunder starter finished in double-digit scoring. The Thunder didn’t seem to struggle against the defense of Toronto, as they pretty much did whatever they wanted to on offense tonight. The Raptors have had pretty good success on perimeter defense this season, but the Thunder managed to shoot 56% from beyond the arc. The Thunder are finally finding their stride, and playing their best basketball as the season comes to an end. It seems like the Thunder might be peaking at just the right time heading into the playoffs.
Westbrook Earns 4th Consecutive Triple-Double
Russell Westbrook continues to put up ridiculous numbers as he tallied his 34th triple-double of the season and 71st of his career. This also makes 4 in a row for Westbrook, the 3rd time he has achieved such a streak this season. No other player in the NBA has had such a streak. The Thunder improve to 28-6 on the season when Westbrook gets a triple-double compared to 11-23 when he does not.
Russell Westbrook finished the game with 24 points while shoot 8/17 (47.1%) from the field, 4/8 (50.0%) from three, and 4/4 (100%) from the free throw line to go along with 16 assists, 10 rebounds, and only 2 turnovers in 28 minutes. Through the Thunder’s current 4-game win streak, Westbrook is averaging an incredible 15.5 assists per game, which is no doubt a major reason for the Thunder’s success. Oklahoma City is one of the league’s hottest teams lately, and Westbrook’s ability to get his teammates involved is the most significant factor.
Saturday Matinee At Home
The Thunder will return home on Saturday to take on Buddy Hield and the Sacramento Kings. The Thunder have one of the top home records in the NBA at 25-9, while the Kings are mediocre on the road at 13-20. The two teams have split the two games played in Sacramento so far this season, but this time, the Kings will look much differently than they did in the first half of the season due to trading away their marquee player DeMarcus Cousins. Tip-off is set for 2 PM, and the game will be televised on FSOK. It will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
Article written by Craig Hofeld and Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.