Balanced scoring pushes OKC past Phoenix
By Addam Francisco
Just a few days ago Charles Barkley said that Oklahoma City's biggest problem is unbalanced scoring, stating that it seems to always be either Westbrook and Durant, with a little hint of Dion Waiters. Well, Sunday night that glitch in the Thunder offense seemed to be fixed, hopefully for the rest of this season. Oklahoma City had five players in double figures in a 124-103 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
As expected, KD scored 32 points in 32 minutes off 12-of-19 shooting along with 11 rebounds. Sunday night, he did a great job incorporating other players in the offense. There weren't many occasions where it was him versus the defender with teammates standing around. Most of his buckets came off a fast break, or a catch and shoot situation.
Russ had yet another spectacular performance scoring 21 points and dishing out 13 assists, increasing his league leading assist mark to 10.5 per game. This is what fans and critics criticized him for throughout his entire career, not being a "true" point guard and turning the ball over too much... Well now, theres not much you can say after only turning the ball over two times against the Suns, while keeping the same intensity, and actually he seemed more aggressive this game than usual. Westbrook also added six rebounds to his stat line, four of which were offensive.
In 28 minutes, Enes Kanter also scored 21 points, and collected seven rebounds against the Suns. Although he wasn't as effective on the boards as we expected, he did get the ball in the bucket 9 out of 10 times. High volume shots, turned into points for Enes, plus a display of defensive awareness which is all teammates, coaches, and fans want to see.
This is a guy that people seem to either love or hate. It sure would be nice to see this guy play like he played tonight, every game. He scored 19 points off 6-of-9 shooting. Such an efficient night, in a exciting way. Dion always plays with so much energy day in and day out but some days the shots just don't fall for him. He has to be the most criticized player on the Thunder, whether its lack of defense, or taking what people think are unnecessary shots. Well Sunday night against the Suns was one of his better games. Defense still seems to be a struggle for him, but lets just focus on his efficient offensive evening.
It's been nice to see Serge play at the level he's played at these past few games. He finished with 10 points and nine rebounds against the Suns, off 5-of-12 shooting which isn't great, but seeing his shot selection improving is refreshing. Last season and the first few games of this season were irritating for a lot of people because Serge seemed to be more of a jump shooting big man which is completely different than past seasons.
Andre Roberson didn't score in double figures, only scoring seven points, but those who know what kind of player he is would be happy with that stat. He also added six rebounds and his plus/minus was +15. He does the things that don't show up in stats, and it's appreciated.
Oklahoma City will play the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night, at 6 p.m. in Washington D.C. where they will try to improve their record to 5-3 on the season.