The Thunder guard scored the most points ever in a playoff triple-double Wednesday night, finishing with 51 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds, but went cold in the fourth quarter as the Thunder fell 115-111 to the Houston Rockets.
The Thunder can not win without Westbrook, they barely win games with him averaging a triple-double.
When it was over, Westbrook and the Thunder closed the evening in a 2-0 hole in their first round series.
Westbrook notched his first triple-double of his 2016-17 playoffs after totaling an NBA-record 42 of them during the regular season.
“I don’t give a (expletive) about the line”, he said.
Game 3 is Friday night in Oklahoma City. Even taking into account Westbrook’s 6-of-8 shooting from the line, his true shooting percentage was 34.9% in the fourth. While people were gushing about his historic performance, some point out the last seven minutes of the game when Westbrook tried to do too much.
He lost one of the top three players in the league and former teammate Kevin Durant but he took on the leadership role and has carried the Thunder to the playoffs as the sixth seed with an overall record of 47-35. Now, his help is not an All-Star at any position.
It had looked for all money as though Westbrook was going to inspire a memorable serires-levelling performance as the Thunder played in front nearly all the way. However, he shot 4 of 18 in the fourth quarter. In fact, Westbrook played much of that fourth quarter as if he were playing “My Player” on National Basketball Association 2K17.
PRESSURE IS ON: Thunder guard Victor Oladipo was 1 for 12 from the floor in his playoff debut, 0 for 9 outside the paint. After he was caught on camera during Game 1 telling his assistant coach Mo Cheeks, “Can’t play Kanter”, he made an adjustment: Enes was only allowed on the floor when James Harden Saturday. “They won one on home court and regardless of if you win by 20, two, 40 it doesn’t matter”, Westbrook said. Gordon chipped in 22 points and Williams finished with 21. He takes the majority of shots on his team. “So that’s what we’re going to work for”. Game 2, 10:30 p.m., TNT. Houston finished on a 12-4 run. “I’m not 100 percent”, Nurkic said. “I know a lot of golfers that didn’t win a major and they said: ‘Oh he can’t win the big one.’ And then he wins five. It was great timing to knock down a shot like that”. “We just hung in there, hung in there”. For Oklahoma City, Doug McDermott hopped off the bench to score his first eight points of the night. Nene Hilario is the third double-digit scorer and Clint Capela is grabbing seven rebounds.
And that led me to the obvious question that is going to loom large over the next two months leading into July: What free agents are going to want to come and play with him?
Still, there are areas for Houston to clean up.
The bad news for Atlanta, Oklahoma City and Portland is obvious: They’re down 1-0 and on the road.
“I think we’ll play desperate, as well”, Williams said. While mid-range shots aren’t a part of the offense, finding something little closer to the basket to try and get his confidence back could be huge in him getting his three-point shot back. We understand what’s at stake here. They had made the finals in back to back seasons, and they spoke loudly to Durant.