HOUSTON – He came on the first screen and as a waiter, who swam with a crowded restaurant, Paul George slid slightly before him, holding James Harden. This was a narrative perfection, two MVP candidates facing the game on the line, with 40 points running, with a single stop or a shot that they decided.
"I absolutely wanted this match," said George. "I wanted this game all night."
However, Eric Gordon re-examined immediately, and George fought to get over it, and he caught just enough to force the switch.
James Harden scored at least 30 points for the 29th game in a row, while Russell Westbrook scored a triple double in his ninth game to win.
The second season of transactions is here official.
Ten seconds left, and Oklahoma City Thunder, led by Harden, increased his new game, Russell Westbrook. Obviously, what was coming; It was just a question of whether to step back or not. Westbrook got a quality competition, Harden clumsily landed and shot the shot in iron. George jumped for a bounce, he was fouled and scored two free throws. Traffic with Houston Rockets left 3.4 seconds left. Thunder, who returned with 26 points down, stunned Houston 117-112.
George scored a rare performance from Harden – 45 to 42 – and he did this in an efficient 12-of-22 shooting, including 6 of 14 of the 3rd Toughest NBA.
"I am happy to be able to play against the best and I look forward to being the best defenders of you," said George. "I'm enjoying the game. It's a game."
George obviously enjoys showdowns, especially against potential MVP peers. It's over Two weeks ago Giannis Antetokounmpo, who changed his performance with the mushroom over the Greek freak in the second half of the summer, triggered Thunder. And although it's subtle, it's proud of the fact that at least it is a two-way duel.
"Finally, that's how they went," George said. "So I learned the game – enjoy the matchups, have fun with it."
Thunder won 10 of 11, and the drawback lost five points against Boston Celtics on Sunday Super Bowl. Running took place at the loss of five out of six, with George turning back with a four-point victory against the Philadelphia 76ers on January 19th. They established their identity as a defensive team that plays fast and pass, with the Westbrook spell attacking the table for George's patient scoring. Westbrook voluntarily and frankly left George's word to find a way to cover his contrasting styles and personalities.
Terrance Ferguson sends the ball up, and Nerlens Noel drops the street jumble.
But what is the sublime Thunder are their complementary parts, such as Dennis Schroder, who had 17 points (13 in the third quarter) and Terrance Ferguson (15 points, 3 out of 5 out of 3). Steven Adams is in the middle of the concrete wall and sets the Richter scale that registers the screens and anchors them. Jerami Grant bloomed when the Swiss army stretched out 4, struck 3s and protected the slave. This is a balanced player, best mixed with Thunder since Kevin Durant was part of it.
Early a day, but Thunder, announced that they had left the guard Alex Abrines, rolling down to 12 players after trading Timothe Luwaw-Cabarrot last week. This is actually 11, although the starter Andre Roberson still can not play, because he suffered a knee injury last season. They are both deep and extremely thin, with a high-end player of another unit, such as Schroder, but with limited inexperienced features deeper on the bench.
Oklahoma City Thunder chart depth
|PG Russell Westbrook||Reserve for all stars|
|SG Terrance Ferguson||Beginner|
|SF Paul George||All-star starter|
|PF Jerami Grant||Beginner|
|C Steven Adams||Beginner|
|PG Dennis Schroder||6. man|
|PF Patrick Patterson||Rotation is high|
|SF Abdel Nader||Rotation wing|
|C Nerlens Noel||Big bench|
|SG Hamidou Diallo||A bench on the bench|
|SG Andre Roberson||Damaged starter|
|PG Raymond Felton||Bench protector|
|SG Deonte Burton||Two-way contract wing|
|SF Donte Grantham||Two-way contract wing|
|OKC: abandoned Alex Abrines and Tyler Davis and replaced Timothy Luwaw-Caborrot during the season|
The development of Ferguson changed the game for OKC; a 3-in-D wing that can play extended minutes in each set. Abdel Nader, the player chosen by Celtics last summer, added critical minutes as a spacer in point minutes. And Deonte Burton, a two-way player who is a candidate to officially join the roster, Thunder would change his contract in the next few weeks, played 10 significant minutes against the rockets on Saturday. Burton was, despite the fact that he did not reach the goal, a very high plus-18.
As a rule, Thunder has two weeks to get the roster back to 14 players. Thunder has some options with the remaining three cities. Burton's conversion is one, but the probable scenario is to fill in the gaps with a few ten-day contracts to buy time and wait for the redemption market to see who's available. Until the player arrives on March 1, they are eligible for the postseason deadline.
She added additional responsibility to Westbrook and George, both on the ground and on the ground to lead Thunder. On Saturday, when they got up in bad first half, Westbrook was active in chat rooms, withdrawing his young co-workers and telling them to stop thinking and trust their games and play the ball. Leadership is something Westbrook has to learn and develop, but this is a skill that has become crucial to the development of Thunder.
"There is no special way: leadership is not just basketball, it's not all about what the cameras see," Westbrook said. "I personally run a lot, not just with the camera. We go to the boys' houses, have dinner, sit down, learn a little about yourself. Make sure that the guys are confident and happy with what they do, so I take great pride that I am a leader and I understand my team in this wardrobe. "
Russell Westbrook and Paul George agree that Westbrook brings more to the table, especially at night, not to shoot him.
On Saturday, except for tracking for 26 works, everything went according to the Thunder plan. George was spectacular, Westbrook was a triple duplicate, which was very good and very bad, with a slightly better and secondary work. It was a great victory for OKC, but it was not one that was too glorified. The wardrobe was peaceful and quiet, with some random shouts from Westbrook from the showers. The growth of belief and standard of efficiency are expected.
We need these moments, "said George. "We need moments to check the gut, just to find out what this team is."