The Oklahoma City Thunder picked up another huge team effort 122-97 win tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Thunder were able to do just about anything they wanted to both offensively and defensively. However, it wasn’t like that for the entire game. The 76ers actually led for a decent portion of the first quarter. After going back and forth a few times, the Thunder were able to take the lead at the end of the quarter. The second unit played extremely well and extended the lead. Then, the starters checked back in and took control of the game.
During halftime, the Thunder adjusted on defense and found a way to cool down Nik Stauskas for the 76ers. He was the only thing keeping Philadelphia in the game. Once the Thunder figured out how to shut him down, the 76ers had no offense. Oklahoma City continued to play great on both sides of the ball throughout the second half. The result of the all around team effort was the Thunder coasting to victory and allowing Russell Westbrook to get some rest.
Westbrook Makes History, Again
Russell Westbrook recorded his 35th triple-double of the season tonight. He finished the game with 18 points (6-6), 14 assists, and 11 rebounds. He became the first player in NBA history to record a triple-double without missing a single shot from the floor. It seems like just about every game he sets a new NBA record. However, Russ was not more impressed by his achievement than usual.
Check out his response to finding out about his record performance here:
His 35th triple-double puts him only six behind the current record for most in a single season. With eleven games remaining, that doesn’t seem out of reach for Westbrook. He isn’t likely to rest against any of the Thunder’s upcoming opponents. Russ just might go for this record, and the Thunder might need him to in order to finish the season strong.
Thunder Dominate The Paint
Oklahoma City had their best performance of the season inside the paint with 76 points scored. This stat is amazing as it is, but also more impressive when you consider just about everyone on the team scored inside the paint. Everyone found their way inside whether it be by driving or slashing to the paint for a quick dunk. Enes Kanter led the way, and finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds. The Thunder didn’t just dominate the scoring, they also dominated the glass. Oklahoma City out rebounded Philadelphia 54-25.
OKC Amongst Most Consistent in NBA
After tonights win, the Thunder are one of only three teams in the NBA to finish at .500 or better in each of the last eight seasons. The other two franchises are Houston and San Antonio, which is great company for the Thunder to be around. Consistently winning in the NBA is one of the hardest things to do. Fans should be hesitant to complain about Oklahoma City’s problems over recent years. Instead, we should be appreciative of this achievement, and never take winning for granted. Just ask the Lakers.
Heading to Houston
The Thunder will have a few days off before heading to Houston to play the Rockets on Sunday. This game will not only have a huge impact on the MVP race, but will also be a big win for Oklahoma City as the season comes to an end. The game will take place in the afternoon at 2:30 PM CST, and it will be televised on ABC. It will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
Article written by Craig Hofeld. Follow @TheThunderGuy on Twitter and Instagram.