OKC Thunder rout Rockets emphasizing the new era system- 3 takeaways

OKC Thunder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
JANUARY 9: Chris Paul #3 of the OKC Thunder and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Houston Rockets looks on during the game (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images) /

No clutch time required:

In a rarity for this season the Thunder were able to nail this one down early. Certainly, the Rockets playing in back to back games helped and the absence of Eric Gordon also negated one of Houston’s main contributors.

However, the Thunder were also missing Nerlens Noel and based on the minutes Mike Muscala provided I’d argue the bigger challenge to overcome was on OKC’s side (okay – a little shade there – but this remains one of the worst signings by Sam Presti in history – especially considering how much effort he put in to add him).

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OKC dominated virtually every area of the court and used their defense to lock down key sections of the court.

The Thunder outperformed the Rockets in transition outscoring them 12 to 6 in the fast break (again – see the point above about increasing pace), in the paint 48 to 38 and on the perimeter they each hit 11 triples. In the latter situation, the Thunder accomplished this on eight fewer 3-point attempts and the Rockets average was bolstered by Clemons who scored three deep balls in garbage time.

It was a highly entertaining game with all the boxes checked. Fans got to serenade Russell Westbrook with a chorus of MVP chants at game start, witness an oust of the team who resides in the third seed and most importantly recognize this squad is becoming one of the biggest and best surprises of the 2019-20 season!

Next. Thunder annihilate Rockets in Russell Westbrook’s return: player grades. dark

They’ll be back it today to face the top team in West – the LA Lakers who also arrive having played the night prior. We’ll have the preview for that match up shortly.