Anthony Davis‘ 44 points and 18 rebounds proved to be too much for the OKC Thunder as they fall to 17-9 on the season and 7-6 on the road.
In a game where neither team caved, the New Orleans Pelicans were inefficient. They shot 46 percent from the field and 22 percent from three. The OKC Thunder was better in both categories (48 percent and 30 percent respectively). You would think that OKC would be able to win most games if they shoot better than their opponent from those categories, right?
Here’s the rub. New Orleans hit seven more free throws. They also dominated the Thunder on the glass 56-39 (17-9 offensive!). This resulted in 10 additional shots and an advantage in points in the paint (74 to 48) by the home team.
When you spot a good team on the road that kind of production, you aren’t going home adding one to the win column too often.
The big reason for that disparity is that Jerami Grant picked up his fifth foul less than two minutes into the second half. Due to that, Paul George had to slide over and “The Brow” and Julius Randle (22 points, 12 boards) went to work.
Russell Westbrook wasn’t himself in this one, really. He seemed to be fighting to get into that extra gear a bit (and potentially fighting some kind of sickness?), wasn’t sharp with handling the basketball, and couldn’t get his shot to fall. He had a positive impact on the game though (20 points, six rebounds, seven assists, four steals, two blocks) and made the smart play down the stretch when it mattered.
Alex Abrines had a chance to give the Thunder the lead in the closing seconds but couldn’t get the shot to fall. This play was the same play with George as the option when he hit the game winner against Brooklyn a week ago, but instead of crashing on Russ, the Pelicans stayed home.
This forced Westbrook to drive where Anthony Davis was awaiting him. Russ kicked the ball out to the Spaniard and the rest, unfortunately, is history.
My name is Matthew Mullins (Matty Mulls), and on behalf of the Topic: Thunder Podcast, I will take you inside the hard fought loss for the Thunder tonight.
Opening Remarks – 00:26
Hook Up the TiVo – 03:42
Player of the Game – 29:18
Closing Remarks – 31:32
Topic: Thunder can be found, as always by searching for “OKC Topic Thunder” on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or anywhere else you get your podcasts. Or you can just play the audio above or visit anchor.
Please hit us up with feedback, we’re absolutely coachable. You can follow us @OKCTopicThunder on Twitter or find us via @ThunderousInt. Thanks for listening, and keep Thundering Up!