By: Addam Francisco
When the Oklahoma City Thunder play the Houston Rockets it's typically a heated and exciting game and Monday night didn't disappoint. However, due to a third quarter debacle, Oklahoma City drops their first game 110-105.
In a game where Kevin Durant drops 29 points and Russell Westbrook finishes with 25 points, 11 assists and two rebounds shy of a triple double, turnovers and foul trouble spoiled the night for OKC. The first half looked great after being up 65-54 and seeming to be in complete control of the game, but when Russell picked up his fourth foul in the third quarter, the teams offense looked very discombobulated and stagnant at times and there was a lot of one-on-one play. With that being said, the Rockets were able to force a lot of turnovers and get the points in return. Houston won the turnover battle 25-12, and they had 11 more steals than the Thunder. Thats a recipe for disaster, and most times thats a sign of a blowout.
A good sign all season for Oklahoma City, that continued tonight was rebounding. Even in a loss, they collected 55 rebounds to Houston's 34. The play of Serge Ibaka, D.J. Augustin and Enes Kanter was great, combining for 30 points along with Serge and Enes combining for 26 rebounds. Not to mention, holding Dwight Howard to only eight rebounds, which is five under his 2015-2016 average. Dion Waiters also displayed his craftiness a few times in the game, and could have done more if the second team didn't turn the ball over so much in Russell's third quarter hiatus.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are now 3-1, and fourth in the Western Conference. They will play yet another playoff team, this time the Toronto Raptors of the Eastern Conference on Wednesday night, in Toronto. This will be their third game in four days.