Sloppy play costs the Thunder in Game 3
By Suave Francisco
The highly anticipated Game 3 between the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs didn't quite end the way the home team wanted it to end. In a scrappy, unorthodox style of game where things didn't go either teams way fell slightly in favor of the away team. The Spurs edged out the Thunder 100-96 to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
The Thunder out-rebounded the spurs as expected, but the Spurs shot 52.6 percent from 3-point range versus the Thunder's 33.3 percent. The telling story in this game was turnovers, though. If OKC didn't turn the ball over 14 times for 14 points, they may have won this game. At the same time, though, the Spurs missed 10 free throws, so you could also make the argument that if they hit eight of those 10, this game would have been a bit of a blowout. Nevertheless, Oklahoma City lost.
Not to blame this loss on Russell but you can't make a strong case against that when he shoots 10-31 on the night for 31 points, and his teammate Kevin Durant shot 10-18 for 26 points. Westbrook resorted to hero-ball late in the game and didn't get key players involved like expected. It would've been ideal to put the ball in the hands of Durant those last few possessions in the game, but that didn't happen and it resulted in a loss.
Bench play has to improve as well. 18 points from the bench won't cut it either, especially against the San Antonio Spurs. The "big three," being Russell, Kevin and Serge Ibaka combined for 72 points which is good, but once again, not good when six other players play and only score 24 points. Eight of which came from Kanter who, well...underachieved in this game.
On a good note, there is remorse. During the press conference, Russell admitted to shooting too much, saying he should have looked for teammates more. It's alright Russ. Next time you got it.
Luckily there will be a quick turnaround this time. Sunday will be the next time these teams meet back up in the Peake. Look for Russell to have one of his trademark games out of anger from this game. Game 4 is a must-win for the Thunder as well.