The Oklahoma City Thunder have overcome their recent slump and are now on a three-game winning streak as things look to finally be moving in the right direction for the team.
After wins over the Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs, OKC dispatched the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, who were coming into the contest on the back of six straight wins.
At one stage it looked like they would go on to the make it seven as they took a 17-point lead but the Thunder showed resilience and fought back to win it 100-94 thanks to a huge fourth-quarter surge.
One player who has stepped up big in the three wins is center Steven Adams. He finished with 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting against Utah to follow up impressive performances against the T-Wolves and Spurs.
The New Zealander is averaging 22 points per game on nearly 80 percent shooting during OKC's three-game winning run.
The team has needed this level of production as some of their star players have struggled in recent games.
Paul George and Carmelo Anthony are still finding their feet in Oklahoma City and looking for the best ways to mesh with Russell Westbrook on a nightly basis.
Anthony, in particular, appears to have taken a bit of a back seat as he scored in single digits in consecutive games for the first time in his career in the wins over Minnesota and San Antonio.
He recognized that Adams has had it going and has been more than willing to allow the big man to be a secondary option on offense to Westbrook.
"I think people have it really backwards," head coach Billy Donovan said when asked why Adams has taken on such bigger offensive focus, via ESPN. "That's the greatness, to me, of Carmelo Anthony. The reason why Steven Adams is doing what he's doing is because of Carmelo Anthony and Paul George."
Against the Jazz, Melo struggled for much of the game, starting 2-of-13 from the floor before hitting four of his final six shots. PG13 did the same, scoring just three points on 1-of-5 shooting in the first half and then pouring in 18 on 6-of-8 shooting in the second.
"I think a lot of people don't see, they look at Carmelo and think, 'Oh, he's only taken seven or eight shots in two games,' and they miss the big picture of what the guy has done for Steven Adams," Donovan said.
"It should be one point for Steven and one point for Carmelo. One point for Steve, one point for Paul. It's a team. I think you all benefit from each other when you're out there on the floor and playing the right way."
Sacrifice was the word that the 10-time All-Star used prior to the game and insisted that winning comes before his individual stats.
"For me, personally, it's just about doing something different, seeing where the team really needs me on a night-to-night basis," Anthony said, per ESPN.
"And just be willing to do that and being willing to sacrifice, not every night having to score 20 or 30 points. And I'm good with that; it's a good feeling, as long as we're winning."News Now - Sport News