Monday, March 27, 2017

Thunder Fall to Rockets in Shootout

The Oklahoma City Thunder fell to the Houston Rockets in a high scoring affair 137-125.

Russell Westbrook finished the game with his 36th triple-double of the year, ending with 39 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds.

If the box score was any indicator, offense wasn't really an issue throughout the ballgame for the Thunder. Oklahoma City shot 50 percent from the field in the game and 36 percent from three, but the offensive firepower the Thunder brought to the game was overshadowed by an incredible shooting performance by the Houston Rockets.

The Rockets shot 63 percent from the field and and scorching 51 percent from downtown. While bad defense no doubt played a part in the high percentage, Houston also just couldn't miss. On contested jumpers the Rockets shot 73.8 percent (credit to the guys at Thunderous Intentions for finding this data). Now when a team is just hitting tough shots, there is really nothing you can do about it.

The Thunder now sit at 41-31, tied in the loss column with the 5th seeded Clippers. With 10 games to play there is still a lot at stake with Oklahoma City.

First off is seeding. The Thunder would love to jump the Clippers and have a first round matchup against the Jazz. Oklahoma City matches up well against Utah and might be favored to win the series. If the Thunder stay at #6 then they would play the Houston Rockets. I don't think it's impossible for the Thunder to beat the Houston Rockets in a seven game series. Playoff basketball is a different animal and anything can happen, but the Rockets three point shooting will give the Thunder fits. Enough talk on that though, that'll be for another day.

The second thing at stake for the Thunder, or Russell Westbrook, is the MVP award and Westbrook's triple-double count. Westbrook is most likely going to finish the season averaging a triple-double, but will that along with carrying Oklahoma City to a possible 5th seed be enough to snag the award? Most polls that have been conducted so far by some media members have James Harden winning MVP and Westbrook finishing second. But, anything can happen in the NBA.

The Thunder will take on the Mavericks tonight at 7:30 in Dallas.

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