The Oklahoma City Thunder's seven-game winning streak was snapped as they fell to the Atlanta Hawks 97-90. Even though the Thunder has the best record in the NBA, they have struggled on the road all season as seven of their eight total loses have come on the road.
The Thunder did get 35 points from Kevin Durant and 25 from Russell Westbrook, plus 10 points each from James Harden and Serge Ibaka but it was not enough. The rest of the Thunder squad only put up 10 total points. The Hawks had a more balanced scoring attack with Josh Smith leading the way with 30 points and 12 rebounds. The Hawks were able to upset the Thunder even without their best player Joe Johnson.
The Thunder made a comeback in the third quarter and were actually within one point with 2:18 left on a Durant three-pointer to make it an 89-88 game, but the Hawks responded with a three-pointer of their own to outscore the Thunder 8-2 over the final two minutes of the game to upset the Thunder.
So much for Russell Westbrook's ankle being an issue tonight against the Atlanta Hawks. Westbrook was hot in the first quarter and scored 10 points, and has 13 ponts so far at the half. However, with that effort and an additional 13 points from Kevin Durant the Thunder are trailing the Hawks 53-47 at the half.
The problem with the Thunder for tonight is that they are having trouble holding on to the ball and have turned the ball over 13 times to the Hawks. The Hawks and Thunder are shooting the ball about the same as both are hitting 45 percent of their shots, however with those turnovers the Hawks have made 20-of-44 shots to the Thunder's 16-of-35.
Those extra shots are a reason why the Hawks are up at the half.
Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook was a game-time decision due to an ankle injury that Westbrook suffered against the Orlando Magic. Westbrook is playing tonight against the Atlanta Hawks and after one quarter of play is showing no ill effects on the sprained ankle, and he is leading all Thunder players with 10 points after one quarter.
Westbrook is 4-of-5 from the field with two three-pointers made, and after one quarter the Thunder are trailing the Hawks 27-24. Kevin Durant who usually shoots the ball well is having an off night so far with eight points on 1-of-4 shooting, but he is making up for that by getting to the free throw line where he has made 5-of-6 so far tonight.
The Oklahoma City Thunder will take their talents and the best record in the league to Atlanta to face a Hawks team who were victorious on Friday night versus the Bucks. The Thunder, who won their last game via an epic comeback versus the Orlando Magic 105-102, are uncertain about their point guard position as Russell Westbrook has been ruled as a "game-time decision" by head coach Scott Brooks.
Russell Westbrook has been an iron man for the Thunder as the point guard has never missed a game in college or as pro. His streak of 282 consecutive games for the Thunder is the 3rd highest in the league, but could be in jeopardy on Saturday night.