Many noteworthy events occur nightly in the NBA, and many NBA fans value sleep. Sometimes, the latter must take precedence over the former, which is why we have added this new daily feature presenting five interesting items from the previous night.
A very quiet Thursday in the NBA saw just four teams in action. Oklahoma City survived a Russell Westbrook meltdown to defeat the shorthanded Grizzlies, while the Mavericks fell to the Warriors.
To quote Fred Flintstone, whose image was tattooed on Greg Ostertag’s leg …. YABBA DABBA DOO!!!
- A day after the Memphis Grizzlies completed a three-way trade with the Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons, the Grizzlies fell to Oklahoma City 106-89 without the new guys in uniform yet. The Grizzlies were 13-for-37 (35.1%) from inside five feet Thursday against the Thunder, their lowest field goal percentage from that distance this season. Nine of those 37 field goal attempts were blocked by the Thunder.
- Westbrook was chided for sniping at his teammates briefly during the game, but he finished with 21 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists while Kevin Durant finished with 27 points,7 rebounds and 6 assist. It was the third time this season that Durant and Westbrook each put up more than 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in a game. Westbrook started sniping after a possession when he posted up along the left side of the lane and eventually got called for a turnover when Jerryd Bayless stuck with him on defense for 5 seconds. Westbrook then spiked the ball twice while gesturing toward Thabo Sefolosha and Durant that they needed to get open. He then hollered toward coach Scott Brooks on the bench. Westbrook described it as”just a little miscommunication.”Brooks said it was an offensive play that went awry.
- The Thunder connected on their first nine field-goal attempts. That was the longest start-of-game streak by any team since March 9, 2012. On that date, the Hawks made their first nine shots at Detroit and the Knicks converted their first 11 attempts at Milwaukee. And it was the longest such streak by the Oklahoma City franchise since the Seattle SuperSonics made their first 11 shots against the Heat on January 13, 2006.
- The Warriors defeated the Dallas Mavericks 100-97, putting their record at 35-11. This is only the 2nd time in the last 35 seasons the Warriors finished with a winning percentage of .600 or better at the end of January (other time was 1991-1992). Read the latest about California’s teams in Andrew Kamenetzky’s Cali Report.
- The Warriors scored the first 12 points of the fourth quarter, but the Mavericks immediately followed that with a 13–0 run of their own. It was only the third game in the last six seasons in which both teams had 12+ point runs in the fourth quarter. The other two took place last season, between the Bucks and Magic on February 11, and between the Mavs and Knicks on March 6.
Stat Mann is the nom de guerre of our research statistician, who spends a lot of time watching basketball in central Connecticut. Someone would be angry if they discovered he was moonlighting here.