Russell Westbrook is not the same. Perhaps he's a martian, or maybe he's a Point Godzilla...
Soaring through the air...
...armed with an intensity unrivaled by most. He's a fierce competitor with a certain flare for the dramatic. But's it's gorgeous to see, only heartbreaking at the same time. Westbrook put his stamp on Friday night's game at Target Center.
He finished with 34 points (12-of-19 shooting), six assists, six rebounds and two steals in the Thunder's win over the Timberwolves - getting whatever he wanted in his third 30+ point game of the season. Westbrook was a Point God on Friday night.
"We did a good job coming in with a good mindset. We were coming off a back-to-back and it was a tough game. We came in to another team's home court and took care of business," Westbrook said.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks focused on Westbrook's defense in the postgame:
Russell set the tone of the game. The defensive end he picked up, he put on a lot of great ball pressure. We were denying on our wings and we didn't give up any easy buckets. That's what we have to do.
Aside from the Point God, OKC's supporting cast did more than enough to push them to victory - Kevin Durant and Steven Adams scored 16 points apiece, while Anthony Morrow dropped 14 points off the bench. To be honest, the Wolves didn't have much energy to begin with. The game quickly got out of hand.
"When the game started we didn't have that energy and they pretty much mauled us. You saw a team that's a desperate team. They know, they look at the standings and they know they've got to win 75% of their games to make the playoffs. So they came out with that sense of urgency and we didn't react," said Saunders.
The Wolves weren't able to comeback from a 21-point halftime deficit on Friday night, though the crowd stayed in the game until the bitter end (props to the hometown fans).
A win over an excellent Portland team on Wednesday couldn't spring the Wolves to another upset victory over a more accomplished Thunder team. "Our main focus for two days has been using Portland as a springboard, evidently we didn't have any springs in the board," Saunders said in the postgame press conference.
At least Ricky Rubio's suit game is stellar...
- Flip keeping it light: "I told our guys, there's only one thing that I was happy about. I was happy they didn't have Harden on their team." Yeah... me too.
- Question to Shabazz Muhammad: Could you sense this coming tonight? "Oh yeah, OKC knows they've got to win every game and I think we didn't come out with any sense of urgency in the 1st quarter and that's what coach said in the 1st timeout. Like I said they are trying to win every game because they are off track with the injuries so I thought we turned it around in the 2nd half and like I said then KD and Russ tried to take over."
- Steven Adams scored a season-high 16 points, adding 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season (third of his career).
- Oklahoma City dominated the boards, outrebounding the Wolves 47-31. The Thunder grabbed 16 offensive rebounds to the Wolves 9. Steven Adams had 7 offensive rebounds.
- Andrew Wiggins played 43 minutes (18 points, five rebounds, two assists, one block/one steal) two nights after he played 44 minutes in a surprise win over the Blazers. That's a lot of minutes, Flip!?!?! I won't look into this too much since he's only 19-years-old.
- Saunders' on Wiggins performing under bigger workload: "I thought he looked like he belonged out there, played and played good. I was happy with his performance. He was aggressive. Both him and [Muhammad] are aggressive and those are the positive things."
- Wiggins on facing Durant: "It was exciting. He's arguably the best player in the NBA."