Thunder Triple Double Up On Losses Heading Back to Oklahoma City

By Tyrese Cohen
Apr. 20, 2017

If you were looking at just the stat line of Russell Westbrook in Game 2, you would think that the Oklahoma City Thunder would have won. 51 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds by your bet player should bring a win..Right? Westbrook did have a historical night for a player in NBA Playoffs but what if it was said that Westbrook may have been the cause of the Thunder's loss. The Houston Rockets made a key 10-0 run late in the fourth to decide the outcome but Westbrook shooting for 17 in the fourth was an assist to the Rockets that James Harden couldn't make. The Thunder controlled the pace for most of the game but during crunch time the Rockets made key plays to pull out the win. Much could be said about Westbrook trusting his teammates but wouldn't that contradict his 10 assists? Thunder guard Victor Oladipo is slated to be the Thunder's second scoring option but has yet to live up to that role. Oladipo shot 29% from the field and only had 11 points in Game 2. The most productive teammates for Westbrook were former Chicago Bulls' Tahj Gibson (8 points in 21 minutes) and Doug McDermott (11 points in 13 minutes). James Harden's performance wasn't anything to laugh at as he poured in 35 points with 8 assists. His supporting cast however was the catalyst to this win. Eric Gordon and Lou Williams came off the bench and sparked the Rockets with 22 and 21 points respectively. Before the series started we said that Westbrook would need a performance like to this to win and the Thunder came very close to doing that in Game 2. Westbrook is definitely capable of pulling off a similar performance at home but will that be enough? If the Rockets can get at least one game in Oklahoma City, there's not much of a chance for the Thunder to come back from a 3-1 deficit.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports