The one you’re supposed to win

Much was made of these teams’ records goine in: the Thunder were 45-15, the Sixers 15-45. (This latter is explained, said radio guy Matt Pinto, by Philly’s “lenient” defense.) And well, when it’s 98-76 after three, you don’t expect a whole lot of superstar action in the fourth. With OKC’s starters taking a twelve-minute breather, the Thunder coasted to a 125-92 win — which means, you’ll note, that the reserves outscored Philadelphia’s mix of starters and reserves in the final frame, 27-16.

Then again, if anyone deserved superstar attention tonight, it was Russell Westbrook, who knocked down a triple-double — 13 points, 10 rebounds, 14 assists — in a mere 20 minutes. Give him a +25 for the night, one higher than Kevin Durant, who collected 42 points on 14-20 shooting. Missing only six shots is impressive; missing six free throws, as KD did, is a bit less so. Caron Butler’s debut in Thunder home white was perhaps more protracted than he expected: 26 minutes, during which he scored two points and retrieved five boards. Reggie Jackson paced the bench with 12.

Former OSU star James Anderson provided Philly with offense to the tune of 20 points; Michael Carter-Williams, who played the longest (33 minutes), was good for 14. And Thunder expat Byron Mullens led the bench with 15, including three of four treys. (Byron Mullens hits treys? You better believe he does.)

The six-game homestand ends at 3-3; the next two are on the road, at Phoenix on Thursday and against the Lakers on Sunday afternoon.


  1. john salmon »

    5 March 2014 · 6:30 pm

    They’re my hometown team, but I couldn’t name one guy on the current squad. I could name dozens of past Sixers: Julius Erving, Hal Greer, Bobby Jones, Billy Cunningham, etc…but the NBA hasn’t been a big deal here in Philadelphia for a long time. Clearly very different in OK.

  2. CGHill »

    5 March 2014 · 8:11 pm

    Bill Simmons suggested in Grantland today that the Sixers are engaged in a clever but complex tanking scheme:

    Along similar lines, from Sixers blog Depressed Fan (the URL gives it away):

  3. John Salmon »

    5 March 2014 · 9:52 pm

    Wow. We’ve talked about this before-I guess I just wasn’t cynical enough to believe it.

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