“The defensive end is what got him locked in and he was able to come out and be aggressive on the offensive end,” Durant said. “Hopefully he continues to build on it, and we’ve got to continue to trust him.”
WESTBROOK’S POST-UP GAME
For years, one of the biggest knocks on the Thunder’s offense has been its obvious lack of a back-to-basket post threat.
And it remains a flaw.
But in this series, Brooks might have identified a temporary reprieve — the powerful Russell Westbrook against the undersized Clippers point guards.
Chris Paul got into early foul trouble on Wednesday and with Darren Collison forced to check Westbrook, the Thunder planted him in the post. Westbrook immediately overwhelmed Collison, bumping him into the lane for an easy basket.
And from there, the Thunder continued to exploit that matchup, with Westbrook getting three more easy mid-range jumpers over Collison on mid-post isolations.
He also showed an ability to identify double-teams from the post, hitting Serge Ibaka for an open jumper and Steven Adams for an easy layup when the Clipper bigs tried to trap him.
Reggie Jackson’s two games: 3-of-13 shooting, eight points, four turnovers.
He was a non-factor again on Wednesday, with Brooks limiting the ineffective guard to 12 minutes.
His Clippers series has started much like the Memphis one. The Thunder can only hope it ends the same way, too.
STAT OF THE DAY
Per Elias, Westbrook and Durant became the first teammates in NBA history – regular season or playoffs – to each have at least 30 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in the same game.
STAT OF THE DAY II
Westbrook and Durant combined to score or assist on 94 of the Thunder’s 112 points on Wednesday night.