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06 December 2017, 10:05 | Sandy Nunez
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook drives around San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray. – AP
Adams, 24, is averaging 22.0 points and 8.3 rebounds over the Thunder's three-game winning streak.
The reason for his emergence?
Coach Billy Donovan pointed to the Thunder's two high-profile acquisitions as the reason Adams' offensive game has opened up.
Thunder: Westbrook and Anthony combined to make just 3 of 13 shots in the first half.
Russell Westbrook led the way for the Thunder with 34 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists in his seventh triple-double of the season. He scored 11 points in the quarter. "It should be one point for Steven and one point for Carmelo".
"(Andre) Roberson's one of the best defenders in the league, Paul George is one of the best defenders in the league. "It's a team. I think you all benefit from each other when you're out there on the floor and playing the right way".
The Raptors have now scored 100 or more points in 10 consecutive games. "Steven's not doing really anything different from maybe he's done in the past". "And just be willing to do that and being willing to sacrifice, not every night having to score 20 or 30 points". The Jazz got the advantage back up to five, before Russell Westbrook finally gave the Thunder their first taste of the lead since the opening basket with a transition bucket then fed Carmelo Anthony for a jumper to put OKC up 90-87 with 3:35 to go.
"We took our time and executed our play", Anthony said afterward.
Donovan also made sure to praise Adams for his improvement, saying Adams had the best summer that he has seen since becoming coach three years ago.
Thunder: Play at Brooklyn on Thursday.
Thunder PG Russell Westbrook blocked his 200th career shot, becoming the only player in National Basketball Association history with 200 blocks, 5,000 assists and 15,000 points in his first 700 career games.
Mitchell scored on a layup to pull the Jazz back to within one. "We learned our lesson, and we know that we have to continue to fight, and we did that tonight". Even later in the clock, it's going to come back.
With Utah's suffocating defense, Oklahoma City looked lifeless early with only 39 points in the first half and falling behind by as much as 17 in the third. He scored seven straight points, then set up Adams for a layup - and then had the favor returned from Adams on a backdoor cut for a dunk.
"Russ had a win-at-all-cost attitude", George said. "Russell Westbrook turned it up defensively, and that's tough", Snyder said. "That's the most important part. We stuck together through adversity and came out and got it done in the fourth". That's the way we played the first half.
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