What Happened Last Night: Thunder Explode Against Lakers, Ohio State Knocks Off No. 2 Indiana
Didn’t watch sports on television last night? Or, really, you didn’t watch basketball? Tuesdays are a bad TV night, show-wise, so we don’t really get it. But everyone has their reasons, so here’s what went down while you were doing whatever it is that you do.
Oklahoma City’s offense overwhelmed Los Angeles
Oklahoma City scored 71 points in the first half – their highest output of the season – and led by 16 points at halftime. But the Lakers just wouldn’t go away; Kobe Bryant poured in 30 points of his own, Metta World Peace hit a number of timely threes and Steve Nash added another 20 to help Los Angeles keep pace. But ultimately Russell Westbrook’s 37 points and 10 rebounds, coupled with Kevin Durant’s 26-9-5, proved to be a bit too much as the Thunder never truly let Los Angeles back in this game.
But the bigger story was Dwight Howard, who only scored six points in 37 minutes and did not attempt a shot in the second half. He made exactly one free throw and was largely non-existent throughout the game, allowing Westbrook and, at times, Reggie Jackson to penetrate the lane and get all the way to the cup. Now, we know that Dwight Howard is playing injured, and it’s hard to gauge exactly what we should be getting out of him, but if his game is going to suffer this badly, maybe it’s not such a bad idea for him to take a seat on the bench for a while and allow that shoulder to rest up.
Indiana really doesn’t like being ranked highly.
Three times this season, the Indiana Hoosiers have been the No. 1 team. Three times this season, the Indiana Hoosiers have lost to unranked teams to relinquish that title. Although Ohio State was ranked 14th and Indiana No. 2, the Buckeyes still handled the Hoosiers in Bloomington. They held Victor Oladipo to seven points on six shots and the entire team to 39.6% shooting from the field. Come Big Ten Tournament time, Indiana will have plenty of time to make up for lost ground; they’ll have to work their way through multiple ranked teams, and could easily re-earn themselves a No. 1 seed. But as we’ve said in this space before, it doesn’t seem like those seedings carry as much importance this season – the parity across college basketball mitigates any seed-based advantage.