Russell Westbrook notched his 24th triple-double of the season, scoring 20 points, adding 13 rebounds and 10 assists, but that wasn’t enough to get past LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Westbrook had 20 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists on the game, but shot just 7-of-26, including making just one of his six three-point attempts.
He wasn’t the only Thunder player to struggle with long-range shooting, though–OKC shot just 6-for-26, missing their first 17 attempts. The bench unit especially struggled to shoot in their first game without Enes Kanter to act as their general. OKC’s bench shot a combined 13 of 35.
The Cavaliers struggled from deep too, shooting just 27%, but it didn’t make much of a difference. Even though the Cavs lost Kevin Love after getting just 12 minutes from him, the rest of the starters stepped up. LeBron James was typically dominant, nearing a triple-double with 25 points, 14 rebounds, and eight assists in 37 minutes. Kyrie Irving, who embarrassed Westbrook with his nimble footwork and dribbling several times, led Cleveland in scoring with 29 points, adding 10 assists and three rebounds. Tristan Thompson was a defensive force with four steals and blocks apiece, including a pair of rejections to close out the first half.
Heading into the game, it seemed as if Oklahoma City had a chance despite being massively out-talented–the Cavs had lost six of eight. That wasn’t so; The Cavs used the Thunder to get right.
Joffrey Lauvergne played well in Kanter’s role as the first big off of the bench, scoring 13 and adding six rebounds. Victor Oladipo scored 17, but shot just 6-of-18. Cam Payne struggled mightily off of the bench, shooting just 3-of-11, scoring eight points. Steven Adams scored seven points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
The Thunder fall to 28-20, while the Cavs improve to 32-14. The Thunder travel to San Antonio Tuesday to take on the Spurs. Tip-off is at 7:30.