An undermanned Pelicans team took the Thunder to task Wednesday night. Eight different players missed the game for New Orleans, including two-way star Anthony Davis.
In addition, they were also missing frontcourt defensive specialists Kendrick Perkins and Omer Asik. Despite the frontcourt advantage, the Thunder’s starting bigs struggled. Steven Adams only played 11 minutes, tallying zero points and two boards. Ibaka trouble in the first half, failing to make a shot on his first seven attempts. Serge was visibly struggling throughout most of the game. Ibaka ended up going 2-11 from the field, 2-4 from the line, five rebounds and one block.
OKC shot just 27.3% from the field in the first quarter. However, against a thin bench, the second unit prospered, outscoring the Pels 44-22. Billy Donovan rode the hot hand, making a smart adjustment and playing Enes Kanter 32 minutes. Kanter ended the game with a double-double, scoring 24 and adding 14 rebounds. OKC–the top rebounding team in the NBA– continued their reign with 50 boards.
Westbrook yet again played a dominant game. He scored 43 points on 14 shots, going 15-20 at the free throw line. Russ also added nine rebounds and eight assists, nearly notching yet another triple-double.
The game was 97-94 with a little over three minutes remaining, but Westbrook and crew managed to pull away. Russ ended up scoring 12 of the Thunder’s last 15 points down the stretch to finally put the Pelicans away.
OKC ended up winning 110-103 against New Orleans. The Thunder move to 7-5, while New Orleans falls to a disappointing 1-11. Next up, the Thunder take on Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks at home on Friday at 7 o’clock.