Russell Westbrook was back in Oklahoma City last night. The fans made a warm welcome for the biggest player in the history of their franchise, but the current crew of the Thunder didn’t have any sympathy for Russ. They would beat the Rockets 113-92, and continue the streak of positive results.
Crowd Still in Love With Westbrook
The fans didn’t forget what No.0 did for OKC over the previous years. It is why they started chanting a well-known phrase in Chesapeake Energy Arena heard so many time before – “MVP, MVP!!.” The ferocious point guard, often known for his tough attitude, couldn’t be emotionless after such an ode of love.
“Man, some things you can’t put into words,” the former MVP said.
Westbrook dropped 34 points, and was by far the best player among the Rockets, but his team couldn’t do anything against the very well organized Thunder. The hosts were leading right from the start, up until the end, creating a 30-point difference at one moment.
It was certainly the worst performance of the Rockets since the season began, but Westbrook’s coming back to OKC cast a shadow over that. The Thunder were better in all the aspects of the game. They had a higher shooting percentage, 49.4, compared to 38.2, controlled the glass 58-42 and were better under the rim scoring 48 points and allowing 38 on the other side.
Danilo Gallinari had 23 points and 11 boards, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander dropped 20, while Chris Paul scored 18 with 6 boards and 5 assists also forcing four turnovers. Dennis Schroeder had 16 off the bench.
James Harden didn’t have his night, as the leading scorer of the league delivered just 17 points.
Rockets are now 25-12 and play this Saturday against the Timberwolves at home. OKC is 22-16, and they face the Lakers on Saturday night also.
76ers Tops Celtics
For the third time this season, Philadelphia defeated Boston Celtics. The result was 109-98 for the hosts who were playing without injured Joel Embiid. The big fella from Cameroon will undergo surgery this Friday to repair his dislocated left ring finger.
The home team was furious in the last period once they turned the tables on the court seizing the win. However, during the second quarter, it seemed that the Celtics are about to triumph routinely. With 5:05 left until the break, Brad Stevens’ guys had a 51-36 lead. After that moment, Philly made a 12-0 run to come back into the game.
Josh Richardson scored 29 points for the hosts. He also had 7 assists and was perfect from the foul line, 10-10. Ben Simmons had 19 points ad 9 boards, Al Horford 17 with 8 boards and 6 assists. Tobias Harris added 16.
Among the guests, Kemba Walker led the way with 26 buckets. Marcus Smart added 24.
In other two matches played this Thursday, the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated Detroit Pistons on the road, after overtimes, 115-112. Tristan Thompson had a magnificent performance, scoring 35 points along with 14 boards, missing just five of his 20 shots from the field. Collin Sexton had 19, and Kevin Love 17 with 9 boards. Andre Drummond posted 28 for the hosts with 23 boards, and Derrick Rose 27.
Minnesota beat Portland Trail Blazers 116-102. Andrew Wiggins had 23 points for the winners, and Damian Lillard 20 for the guests.