Westbrook Streak Ends But Thunder Rally To Beat Celtics
By Randy Renner, Senior Writer
On a night when the Thunder trailed by as many as 13, shot free throws like a bad grade school team, lost Victor Oladipo to a sprained wrist and missed 18 threes they somehow managed to win anyway, beating Boston 99-96.
Russell Westbrook didn’t extend his triple-double streak, mostly because as Billy Donovan put it, “we didn’t shoot the ball well,” but Westbrook still dominated and still willed his team to win, finishing with 37 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.
“I know everybody likes to talk about the triple-doubles,” Donovan said. “And what he’s done has been remarkable but tonight with what he did isn’t any less remarkable.”
After an 8-for-25 night against the Rockets on Friday after which Westbrook said he “hadn’t made a shot in a month” he was an efficient 14-for-26 overall against Boston and 2-for-5 on threes.
Oladipo was taken to the locker room late in the 1st quarter when he crashed to the court after leaping to try to block a 3-point attempt.
The arena was hushed as Oladipo lay almost motionless on the court for several minutes. It was feared he had a concussion and perhaps a bruised back also but the official announcement mentioned only the wrist.
After the game Donovan said he hadn’t spoken to the medical staff but that Oladipo had told him he was “feeling better.”
OKC had a good 4th quarter, fighting back from eight down with 8:13 to play to tie the game about five minutes later with a Westbrook three and then take the lead with a Westbrook layup with 30 seconds to go.
The Thunder shot 60 percent in the final 12 minutes from the field but made things interesting with their continued inability to hit free throws. OKC was 6-for-11 (54.5 percent) from the stripe in the 4th quarter and an abysmal 14-for-27 (51.9 percent) for the game.
The Thunder came into the game tonight ranked 27th in the NBA in free throw shooting at 71.9 percent, after tonight’s showing that percentage will drop some more.
That good 4th quarter boosted OKC to 49.4 percent overall for the game but the Thunder could only hit 3 of their 21 threes (14.3 percent).
Steven Adams and Enes Kanter joined Westbrook in double figures. Adams finished with 16 points on 7-for-8 shooting (he’s now 15-for-17 his last two games) and eight rebounds. Kanter ended up with 14 points and six boards.
The Thunder dominated in the paint with 66 points, they also outscored the Celtics in 2nd chance points 14-12 and in transition 13-11.
The Thunder will fly to Portland tomorrow afternoon and will begin a back-to-back against the Trail Blazers Tuesday night, finishing it off in Salt Lake City on Wednesday against the Jazz and then back home for a rare Saturday afternoon game (4pm tip) against the Phoenix Suns.