Jimmy Butler offered baskets to every teammate20 April 2020 / Miguel Coelho
The 30-year-old didn't want his teammates to remain rusty... So he gifted them baskets
Russell Westbrook encountered his old team yesterday when the Houston Rockets hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder. This new version of OKC is performing better than what analysts expected them, blowing out the Golden State Warriors and almost winning their first game of the season in Salt Lake City.
Chris Paul and company travelled to Houston, Texas to take on James Harden and company, on a match that had all the ingredients to produce a great show. It all started when the Rockets organization showed a tribute video on the screens to their former player in Chris Paul, thanking him for an incredible run throughout the years. Emotions were running high, but the Thunder players didn't seem to be troubled by the video as they started with the pedal on the metal, winning the 1st quarter by a 13 point differential, 35-22. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a former LA Clipper is making a case for the Most Improved Player of the year early in the season, posting 23.8 Points Per Game, along with 6.8 Rebounds and 3.3 Assists.
OKC went to the locker room leading by 10 points at half-time, and questions started to mount in Houston's players due to their two previous games. However, things started to click in the 3rd quarter, as they erased a ten point deficit to go take an 11-point lead to enter the last quarter.
"We picked up our defensive intensity,'' Harden said. ''That's going to be what gets us over the top, what gets us where we want to go. We got a little lackadaisical in the first half. Second half we picked it up and look at the results.''
The Rockets closed it out at the end with James Harden going to the free-throw line, reaching 40 points to wrap it up at 116-112.
The Golden State Warriors arrived at this game in probably the worst phase of Steve Kerr's era. They started the season 0-2, losing both games by a 23.5 point differential.
"I would like to see us play harder. But the reality is, we f--king suck right now." Draymond Green said after their second loss of the season to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Due to this, Steph Curry and company had the obligation to give a proper response to both losses. Many sports outlets had the Warriors missing the playoffs in the season's preview due to their depth and Klay Thompson injury, who will probably miss the whole NBA season. Even without Zion, the Pelicans could pose some problems for the Warriors, as they received several talented players from the Los Angeles Lakers in Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, and already had an established star as Jrue Holiday.
The game started pretty even, but it was easy to see that Steve Kerr's team was not willing to start the season with a 0-3 record, as they opened a significant lead in the 2nd quarter. Stephen Curry and D'Angelo Russell shared the scoring load for the Warriors, with Draymond Green producing a big game as well with 16 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists, his first triple-double of the season. At the end of the 3rd quarter the game was practically over, with Golden State leading by 24 points.
"We got to continue to compete at a high level. The first two nights we didn't do that. Tonight we did.", Green said. "As leaders of this team, we continue to try to bring it every night and give them something to follow and, you know, we'll win some games."
The final score was 134-123 for the Warriors. Brandon Ingram led the way for the Pelicans with 27 points and 10 rebounds, as for the Warriors, Stephen Curry netted 26 points and 11 assists.
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