May 6, 2016, 9:44 pm
Russell Westbrook scored 31 points on 10-of-31 shooting (3-of-10 3PTs, 8-of-8 FTs) with nine rebounds, eight assists and one steal in the Thunder’s 100-96 loss to the Spurs in Game 3 on Friday.
Westbrook was vintage Westbrook — great plays, bad shots, and nowhere near the biggest problem for the Thunder tonight. Their biggest problem is that they are playing 4-on-5 with Andre Roberson not drawing a defender in the same zip code and that happened for an unconscionable 27 minutes tonight.
Tony Parker was left free to float and he never had to deal with any contact or exert any energy chasing anybody around. Serge Ibaka was inexplicably left on LaMarcus Aldridge to get roasted all night, as Aldridge has absolutely no fear of Ibaka’s defense and merely sets him up for a fadeaway jumper he can make in his sleep. Serge Ibaka’s rich man’s Anthony Tolliver act continued on a 15-point, five-board, one-block, five-trey night.
Kevin Durant scored 26 points on 10-of-18 shooting with five rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block and five turnovers to match the five giveaways that Westbrook had. It’s amazing to say but he’d be the third, fourth or fifth player one would remember from this game.
Steven Adams (41 minutes, two points, 11 boards, one block) was targeted as a roll man way too many times to no avail but he did play very good defense on Aldridge when he was actually assigned to him.
Enes Kanter appears to have conditioning issues but he is a much better cover on Aldridge and showed that with some nice plays tonight. Scott Brooks let the inmates run the asylum during his tenure and this is an underdeveloped basketball team — but Billy Donovan’s only claim to fame right now is that he isn’t playing Kendrick Perkins in a playoff basketball game.
Either the Thunder make adjustments or the Spurs will methodically pick them apart.