The Thunder needed a spark on Monday, and as it so often does, it came in the form of Russell Westbrook, with 16 of his 38 points coming in the fourth quarter in a 95-94 win over the Denver Nuggets. But it came with unbalanced shot distribution, particularly among the Thunder's Big Three. Westbrook attempted 28 shots, Paul George took 13 shots and Carmelo Anthony had six shots, the fewest he has had in a game since 2013. Anthony finished with four points, the fewest he has scored in a game since 2012. "I'm good with that, if we win. I'm cool with that, man," Anthony said of his shot total. "[Westbrook] had it going, and any time he has it going, we just gotta space it out, play off of him, let him work. The ball will find us. As far as the shots go, there's going to be nights like that. I think that's something we have to accept. It's different, but we have to accept that. But tonight, he had it going, and we followed his lead." Westbrook ignited the Thunder in the fourth with 10 consecutive points, and he carried it through to splitting a pair of free throws with 2.3 seconds remaining to seal a much-needed win as OKC got back to .500. "He led us tonight," Anthony said. "He led us to this victory. Especially offensively. Put the team on his back offensively." Anthony has repeatedly talked this season about "sacrifice" as he adjusts to playing in a complementary offensive role. Against the Nuggets, Anthony took only two shots in the second half, missing both, including a wide-open spot-up 3-pointer in the fourth. "A lot of times, my man is not leaving me," Anthony said. "Opposing teams, coaches' defensive schemes is telling them to always keep a body on me. ... As a result of that, me being a decoy opens it up for a lot of people." Anthony went almost 10 game minutes between shots in the second half.
Carmelo Anthony, in win, has 4 points on 6 shots: 'Cool with that'
ESPN | Dec 19