Thunder Win, But Lose Westbrook Against Pelicans

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 13: Teammates Paul George #13 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder talk during their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on January 13, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

After a slow start, the Thunder are finally thriving. OKC picked up their fifth straight win, the second longest win streak in the NBA, with a 122-116 win over the Pelicans.

But as everything seemed to be going right for the Thunder…A huge problem arose.

Russell Westbrook left in the third quarter with a sprained ankle and didn’t return.

Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said after the game, “He has a sprained ankle. I know nothing more than that. I don’t know length or time or anything else than that. We’ll see. Generally you have to see how he is in the morning, but it’s a sprained ankle and hopefully he’ll be OK.”

The Thunder were more than OK though from a playing perspective before and after Westbrook’s injury. Dennis Schroder came in and played extremely well pouring in 22 points in 24 minutes on 9-16 shooting. It helped lead the Thunder in the fourth.

Once Westbrook left the game the team was deflated. They found some energy when Hamidou Diallo came in and turned two steals into two dunks jolting some energy into the Thunder.

Paul George didn’t have his best shooting night, but ended up leading OKC with 23 points. Steven Adams, who missed time in the first quarter to get his calf treated, ended up with 18 points and eight boards.

Two constants over OKC’s win streak continued their hot play. The bench consistently scored and played good defense. Besides being led by Schroder, Patrick Patterson continued his hot streak picking and choosing the right shots en route to a ten point night.

It was a solid win for the Thunder who had seven finish in double figures. Next up for OKC, the Thunder travel to Cleveland to square off with the Cavs on Wednesday before returning home to face the Houston Rockets on Thursday. Two teams who are struggling to get wins.