The Oklahoma City Thunder’s finale was a mirror image of their entire regular season. Flashes of brilliance, superb potential sandwiched between far too many stretches of poor play. It was a disappointing end to a disappointing season.
Russell Westbrook did all he could to give the Thunder a chance. 46 points on 18-of-43, yes forty-three shots, 10 rebounds and five assists was not enough to get Oklahoma City over the hump in Salt Lake City.
While Westbrook will be criticized, and rightfully so, on his plethora of shot attempts, it was apparent that if the Thunder were going to force a Game 7 in Oklahoma City, it was going to come from the reigning-MVP.
With the other two of the Big Three going a combined 5-of-23 from the floor (0-for-6 from three), there was little chance outside of a Westbrook show.
“Russ made big play after big play,” George said in the postgame
“Every night, I leave it all out on the floor. Sometimes you come up short,” Westbrook added.
Oklahoma City had their chances. A double-digit lead in the second quarter dwindled down to a 41-41 tie. From there it was the Donovan Mitchell show.
The outstanding “rookie” scored 38 points while hitting five three pointers. There was little the Thunder defense could do to stop him.
“I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I smile through everything,” Mitchell said afterwards. “I was in a different mode. It was crazy.”
The Jazz lead sat at 86-73 with seven minutes to go in the fourth. An Oklahoma City run capped off by a Westbrook three saw the deficit drop to one. Sadly for the Thunder, that was as close to forcing a Game 7 they would come.
Much of the talk around Game 6 had little to do with the game but rather the altercation Westbrook had with a Jazz fan walking into the tunnel afterwards.
Westbrook slapped a phone away from a fan and was visibly upset and had to be restrained to an extent.
“I don’t confront fans. Fans confront me. Here in Utah, a lot of disrespectful, vulgar things are said to the players here,” Westbrook said. “It’s just a disrespect to the game and needs to be brought up. I’m tired of just going out and playing and then fans say what the hell they want to say.”
It was an unfortunate end to a disappointing game and season.