By: Shayden Smith
Last night was a historic evening for Oklahoma sports fans. Michael Jordan came to Oklahoma, but more importantly, Russell Westbrook, our very own triple double machine, was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Westbrook was honored to accept this incredible award and Oklahomans everywhere were honored to accept him. Needless to say, the Thunder boys were pumped and ready to play Friday night’s game against the Brooklyn Nets, especially Westbrook. Did the Thunder make this historic weekend an even better one by taking a win?
Russell Westbrook came into Friday night averaging a near triple double at 31.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 9.8 assists. Westbrook was looking to keep his averages high and he did just that. Westbrook ended the night with 30 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists, adding another triple double to his already impressive resume.
Every player on the Thunder looked confident and either shot well or hustled to improve the team as a whole. Victor Oladipo has been having an interesting season, to say the least. He’ll play well one night, and then shoot 20 percent the next night. For Oladipo to be his best, he needs to hustle. When Oladipo defends well and makes the plays that most players don’t want to make, such as diving on the ground to get a loose ball, the Thunder are a much better team. Oladipo moved well without the ball Friday night and ended with 26 points on 11 of 17 shooting.
Westbrook and Oladipo both had great games Friday night, but one person had a break out game that made Thunder fans eager to see him play in the future, Joffrey Lauvergne. Lauvergne had 13 points on six of nine shooting in only 14 minutes of game play. He only had 4 rebounds, but he made huge defensive plays down the stretch that helped the Thunder achieve this win. He was also shooting threes. Just another side of his game I was surprised and excited to see.
The Thunder out rebounded the Nets by 16 boards and beat Brooklyn in the assists category by four. The Thunder played great team basketball and some of their younger player showed glimpses of how impressive they could be in the future, including Lauvergne and Abrines.
The Brooklyn Nets put up a good fight against the Thunder, shooting 37.9 percent from three, but the Thunder had too much momentum going into Friday night. The Thunder out hustled the Nets, beating them 124 – 105.