russell westbrook oklahoma city thunderThe Oklahoma City Thunder won a close game for the third straight time led by Rusell Westbrook’s triple-double and strong play from Steven Adams in the paint.

Carmelo Anthony and Paul George combined for 35 points and were also very good in the fourth quarter in the 100-94 win against the Utah Jazz as they won their third consecutive game to improve to 11-12.

With their improved performance in crunch time lately perhaps the Thunder can feel a little more optimistic about their big three having figured out how to play together, but the team still needs to keep improving if they want to compete with the likes of the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference.

Even though they won, the Thunder struggled the whole game last night against Utah as they were at one point down by double digits. The bench essentially saved them, as they came in and did a great job of cutting into that deficit to keep them in the game.

In the fourth quarter OKC’s big three figured it out because Westbrook was producing solid plays, George was scoring key baskets and “Melo” contributed with his defense and the rebounding department.

The Thunder needs to work on putting together solid performances throughout the whole game. Right now, their starting lineup in first halves is one of the best in the NBA, but in second halves, one of the worst in the league, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

If the Thunder puts together several winning streaks, while performing consistently and stop struggling to inferior teams, then they can confidently say that they have figured out how to compete with the elite teams of the Western Conference.

Until then, and despite the huge amount of talent and potential on this team, they can’t even be considered a lock to make the playoffs as they currently sit in the ninth spot.



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