A cold night in the Big Breezy, and the Atlanta Hawks got a cold reception at the Roundish Building Downtown, although they seemed less bothered by that than by Russell Westbrook’s bid for a statistic: with seven seconds left, Westbrook, expected to dribble it out, instead dished the ball to an open Serge Ibaka, who dropped it through. It was Westbrook’s tenth assist, to go with ten rebounds and 23 points, giving him his third triple-double ever. Even radio guy Matt Pinto seemed surprised. Atlanta’s Al Horford came back with a mostly-unchallenged layup, and that was that; there were a few choice words exchanged after the horn, but nothing came of it, and the Thunder posted a 103-94 win.
Ibaka himself had a double-double: ten points, ten boards. What was most remarkable, though, was that the long ball was actually falling for the Thunder; Kevin Durant (33 points) hit five of nine, and the rest of the team also hit five of nine. Then there was the brief appearance of Jeff Green, who somehow rolled up six fouls in less than twenty minutes. (He still scored 10, and finished a game-high +13.)
Jamal Crawford, the Hawks’ sturdy sixth man, grabbed five steals and led Atlanta scorers with 26; Josh Smith added 23 points more, and Joe Johnson earned a double-double (16 points, 11 dimes). The Hawks, down nine after the first, gained ground in both the second and third quarters, but were held to 15 points in the fourth.
Coming up: three road games in six days, though the first one is tomorrow night at San Antonio. At least Uncle Jeff got some rest.