Given the sheer firepower Mike D’Antoni has at his command, there was probably good reason to be chary of a game against D’Antoni’s Houston Rockets, especially with Russell Westbrook still sidelined. Had I said that within earshot of any member of the OKC Thunder, though, I’d probably draw something like “Screw that” for a response; the Thunder soundly thrashed the Rockets, 98-80, with all the starters in double figures and at +20 or better. Yes, even Terrance Ferguson (14 points, +24). The only way this could be sweeter would be if Chris Paul drew a technical. Which, come to think of, he did.
James Harden, as expected, led the Rockets’ scoring with 19. Clint Capela added 17 more. (Oh, and Carmelo Anthony had 2.) One can grumble that the Thunder, returning to one of its bad habits, jacked up 37 treys and making only 9; then again, Houston put up 42 and made only 11, which isn’t what anyone would call a major improvement. And Houston was seriously outnumbered in Backboardland, the Thunder pulling down 52 rebounds to the Rockets’ 39. And this impresses: CP3 was good for six steals — he’s as adept a ball thief as there is in the NBA — but so was PG-13. And Paul George outscored Chris Paul, 20-10.
As short homestands go, this is about as short as they come: one game. The Thunder now hit the road for Dallas, where the Mavericks are suffering through a 3-8 start. And it probably is not wise to get cocky with that seven-game win streak, which is, yes, let it be said, the second-longest in the Association. Three guesses who has the first.