The Thunder opted to give Anthony the night off for rest Saturday, but as expected, it will be just a one-game layoff and he's back in the lineup Tuesday. The Celtics are second in the Eastern Conference, and Minnesota are fighting for their playoff life in the West. Despite the disparity in playoff positioning, this should be an even game between two quality teams.
The end of the first half offered a glimpse of what was still to come.
"Nothing", he said. "Nothing at all". On the plus side, they play nine of their remaining games on home court, where they were 21-11 on the season to date.
At first, it looked like the Thunder were going to get back into it in the third. It doesn't matter whether your hands are up or not. He had shouldered the load in Paul's absence, helped his seamless transition into the squad, and maintained his alpha status without hurting the team. Next up on the schedule, a rematch from last Friday's crunch time win over the Phoenix Suns. The Rockets avoided that fate by going 17-for-33 on three-point tries and 29-for-34 on free-throw attempts.
"Regardless of what a team does, we've been successful when we've stuck to what we do best", Thunder vet Carmelo Anthony said.
"The difference in the game was the three-point line and the free throw line", Donovan admitted. However, with the deficit only being nine points, it was still anyone's game. "But the guys in the locker room, it makes you want to go out there and compete". They dropped a costly game at Dallas on Tuesday as they try to cling to a playoff spot. You can't have two officials in a professional game. "We need to do a better job of taking care of the basketball".
Houston extended its lead to 19 midway through the fourth quarter. James Harden is in prime MVP form, Chris Paul is more efficient than ever, and they had seven different players in double figures tonight.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 30 points for Milwaukee.
Davis went down after battling Kosta Koufos for a rebound. We weren't listening to anyone on the outside, media, none of that.
The Rockets' greater depth in offence proved to be the Thunder's undoing, with seven players cracking double digits. The same thing happened in the third quarter, when the Thunder began with a 14-5 spurt to close to within two points.
Buddy Hield had 20 points while Zach Randolph added 19 points and five rebounds for Sacramento.
Carmelo Anthony may be statistically having the worst season of his career, but it hasn't been without its highlights.
I could go on-and-on all night about how terrible the Thunder defense was against Houston but it can pretty much be summed up in one 8-second clip. Kyle Lowry posted 15 points, six rebounds, 15 assists and four steals, Norman Powell had 17 points and Jonas Valanciunas added 14 points and 11 rebounds for Toronto. Charlotte fell to 28-37 in the defeat.