Oklahoma City Finishes Strong to Beat Atlanta

The Thunder earned another victory tonight over the Atlanta Hawks. Of course, the win didn’t come without some drama. The Thunder held a double-digit lead early, but then gave up a double-digit lead of their own. Thanks to the never ending effort of Russell Westbrook, the Thunder got back in this one and pulled off the win.

The Thunder started off the first quarter on fire from beyond the arc. Paul George hit a couple shots, then Melo hit one of his own. Paul George scored the first 8 points for Oklahoma City. However, after extending their lead to double-digits, the Thunder quickly allowed the Hawks to catch up.

The Hawks continued to hang around in the second quarter. The Thunder were playing some ugly basketball on both ends of the court, which allowed the Hawks to take control of the game. The Thunder simply weren’t playing good basketball, and the Hawks were doing just enough to hold a lead. Russell Westbrook was pretty much the only one producing on the court. Atlanta held a double-digit lead at halftime, but the efforts of Russ prevented it from being even more.

The Thunder came out in the second half with a much different attitude. There was a bigger sense of urgency, which was a good thing considering the deficit that they faced. The Thunder went on an 18-5 run, which put them right back in the game. This is where the momentum began to shift, and you started to feel like the Thunder were in control.

The Hawks refused to go away and came out with one more push in the fourth quarter to tie the game up. After this, it was all Thunder for the rest of the game. Oklahoma City was knocking down all types of shots and playing well on defense. The Thunder finally closed out a game, and it was in great fashion. The Thunder cruised through the final few minutes of the game to a big win over the worst team in the NBA.

3 Quick Points 

  • Russell Westbrook is on Another Level. 

Russell Westbrook made history yet again joining only three other guys with 100 or more triple-doubles. With tonight being his 100th, Russell Westbrook is only seven short of tying Jason Kidd to move up to #3 on the all-time list. I think it’s save to say that we will see Russell moving up on this list throughout the rest of his career.

  • OKC is Undefeated with Corey Brewer as a Starter. 

The Thunder have now won every game with Corey Brewer in the starting lineup. Brewer came along via the buyout market, and has made a tremendous impact on this team. He gives the Thunder a slasher that can make contested shots under the basket. He can also hit the corner 3, and he can play a bit of defense. The confidence that he has being a veteran in this league is not something the Thunder has had at his position in awhile. Could Brewer be the missing piece this Thunder team needed?

  • Consistency is Key 

The Thunder has to figure out how to play a complete game. If you look at the losses this season, it is usually one or two quarters that cost the game. The Thunder played terrible in the second quarter tonight. Fortunately, the Hawks are one of the worst teams in the league which allowed the Thunder back into the game. Oklahoma City will not be that lucky in upcoming games, and spotting a team with a double-digit lead will likely lead to a loss.

Back Home at the Peake

The Thunder will have a few days off after playing this back to back. Oklahoma City will host the LA Clippers on Friday night. The game will tip-off at 7:00 PM CST, and it will be televised on FSOK. The game will also be broadcast on WWLS 98.1 FM.

Picking up another win on Friday would be huge for this team considering their upcoming schedule. Two games against Toronto and Boston will follow, so a win against the Clippers would be a huge piece of momentum heading into those key matchups.

Article written by Craig Hofeld. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram. 


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