New Orleans remains winless since acquiring DeMarcus Cousins. OKC is now a sesaon-best nine games above .500
Following a blazing start from Anthony Davis, the Oklahoma City Thunder gradually wore down the visiting New Orleans Pelicans to earn a hard-fought 118-110 victory.
In another breathtaking performance, Russell Westbrook owned the fourth quarter to finish with a game-high 41 points. The relentless 6’3 guard added eleven assists and rebounds to garner his 29th triple-double of the season.
The Thunder is 23-6 when Westbrook attains rarefied all-around statistical dominance. Furthermore, Oklahoma City (34-25) sits nine games above .500 for the first time this year.
To lessen the sting of Anthony Davis (38 points) and DeMarcus Cousins’ (31) banner collective showing, key OKC cogs Enes Kanter (20 points, 9 rebs), Steven Adams (13 points, ten rebounds), and Alex Abrines (13) came through for Oklahoma City.
Overall, the Thunder used a decided 53-35 rebounding edge, and 56-40 points in the paint advantage to endure several rough patches in a contest that featured twenty lead changes.
The lack of offensive help (41 pts) surrounding New Orleans’ modern-day twin towers also aided Oklahoma City’s last notch in a 4-0 season sweep over the Pelicans.
As the honeymoon vibe has worn off following the trade for DeMarcus Cousins, the New Orleans Pelicans have lost three-consecutive contests, and now sport a 23-37 record.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma City has won three straight, and will next take the court Tuesday night vs. Northwest Division leading Utah.
Russell Westbrook: In addition to Westbrook’s triple-double, his 21 point fourth-quarter outburst sealed the deal for OKC.
Enes Kanter: After a warm-up game, he’s officially back. Kanter’s 20 points and nine rebounds served as a much-needed boost for the Thunder.
Team rebounding: The Thunder worked hard on the glass. Especially impressive was how the team limited Cousins and Davis via gang rebounding.
Team Resilience: This season’s Thunder is a tough-minded crew. Thank GM Sam Presti for putting together a rugged collection that doesn’t fold under pressure.
Free Throw Shooting: OKC left several points at the line after shooting just 28-37 FTM.
Lack of offensive fluidity: The Thunder assisted on just 17 of 42 made baskets.
Three-Point shooting: 6-of-21 is not an optimal connect rate.
Star of the Show
Russell Westbrook: Westbrook once again carried the Thunder to victory. Only a handful of players in modern NBA history have lifted a team to respectability the way Russell has with this Oklahoma City Thunder iteration.