The Thunder played in LA without Russell Westbrook or Carmelo Anthony and hoped to get them back against Memphis. The two stars were a game time decision and weren’t cleared to play against Memphis. All that did was give the Thunder room to work on their benches confidence as Alex Abrines took advanatage of the oppourtunity to exploit the Memphis defense. Alex Abrines was the supporting cast member that Paul George needed tonight as he finished with 16 points. The best thing about Abrines night is the fact that he was able to get his offense and defense going which could be huge for his confidence. Abrines has been a great member of the team and he’s a great knock down shooter when his confidence is at a high. The Grizzlies couldn’t stop Alex Abrines but most importantly they couldn’t guard the PG-13 who was able to get anything that he wanted on the evening.
Paul George was able to put the Thunder on his back scoring 33 points tonight. When Paul George gets his passing going its hard to stop him from doing anything he wants with the ball on offense. What people don’t understand is that Paul George using his defense to get his game going. Paul is one of the most humble players in the NBA and he’s one of the best two-way players in the league. George made use that the Memphis Gizzlies found out about that the hard way. The Thunder were clicking on all cylinders even without Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony in the lineup tonight. The Thunder shot 44% from the field tonight and were able to build the confidence of the players that usually don’t get a lot of playing time. Patrick Patterson was one of the players that saw an uptick in minutes tonight and made the most of it as he finished with 14 points. The Thunder finished with 5 players in double figures as a whole team which is impressive with Westbrook and Anthony nursing injuries. The Thunder were also one 3 pointer shy of breaking their team record as they hit 16 on the night.
The Memphis Grizzlies only bright spot was Marc Gasol as he had 18 points. Gasol had some great moments in the game but it wasn’t enough. The Thunder were able to smother the Grizzlies on the defnesive end and they weren’t able to stop Paul George at all. The Grizzlies had an interesting week as they didn’t have Evans playing any games up until the trade deadline and they’re also dealing with injuries. The Grizzlies weren’t playing as a team against OKC. It seemed like the Grizzlies relied on Gasol too much and went away from the team ball that they’re accustom too. The Grizzlies have different pieces on their team but that’s no excuse for the way they defended. Mmephis didn’t play like the grind house at all in that second half. The Grizzlies gave up too many turnovers against OKC and when you do that its hard to win against any NBA team.
The Thunder will have the Cleveland Cavs coming into town on Tuesday. Cleveland made a lot of moves at the trade deadline and the OKC Thunder get the chance to see the new squad with LeBron James. The last time they played the Cavs the Thunder scored a franchise high 148 points and want a repeat of that performance. Keep it locked on the SneakerReporter social media feeds to see the updates on Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook leading up to that big game in Oklahoma City.