This game was a blow to Oklahoma City’s moral and ego. They played hard, they got the ball inside and owned the paint in the first half, they led by double digits in the second half, and they got a 51 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assist night from Russell Westbrook. That’s the first 50-point triple-double ever in the playoffs.
And the Thunder still lost.
After the game, Westbrook didn’t want to talk about his historic night.
Well, that ends that line of questioning.
Westbrook is understandably frustrated, this was the Thunder’s chance to steal a game on the road, and they blew it. He has to shoulder some of that blame with his 4-for-18 fourth quarter, but he was clearly tired, and Billy Donovan couldn’t take him out (the one time he did in the second half the Thunder were outscored by 9 in 2:21). Westbrook didn’t trust his teammates, they stood around and watched him, and the Thunder went into a downward spiral.
The first two games of this series simply validate what we said going into this series: Westbrook can be brilliant, but James Harden has a better team around him in the Rockets and they are going to win because of that.