5 takeaways from OKC Thunder epic win in Houston

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 7: Russell Westbrook
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 7: Russell Westbrook /
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OKC Thunder
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – APRIL 3: Russell Westbrook /

Big 3 show up when it matters most:

Losers of five in their last seven the OKC Thunder were seemingly reeling at the worst possible time. Yet, as the three stars took to the hardwood Saturday there was an immediate sense this game would be different.

Carmelo Anthony who has been under fire of late for his anemic efficiency reminded all of why he was so highly coveted in the first place. His 14 points in the opening frame showcased he was ready to ball, but unlike other games this season he maintained the edge and produced in the latter frames as well.

With visions of missed free throws at the TD Garden, Anthony stepped to the line and delivered late in the fourth. For those keeping track, that was a key block, defensive rebound and two key free throws in just under five minutes at game end. Of the big three, Melo was also the most efficient with a 7 of 14 line including 3 of 6 from deep and is six rebounds (2 offensive) also factored in the win.

Rockets Big 3 Trumped:

Neither Paul George or Russell Westbrook shot particularly well. Rather it was the timing of their contributions which played a key role on this night as we’ll touch on in another slide.

And, for all the hype built around the Rockets big three of James, Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela they weren’t as pivotal as the OK3. Granted the Rockets don’t have their backs against the wall, so perhaps take this win with a grain of salt.

Still, the Thunder add their names to the extremely short list of New Orleans and Toronto. These three teams represent the only clubs who’ve beat Houston with their big 3 in the lineup (41-3). In addition this Thunder win halted a 20 game home win streak by the Rockets.