New Zealand basketball fans were given a Boxing Day treat with the Oklahoma City Thunder encounter against San Antonio Spurs shown live on Sky Sport.
It was neat to watch Steven Adams demonstrate his growing reputation by producing a career best 16pts/15rebs/3blks/2steals as the Durant less Thunder gained a valuable 114-106 road win over the Spurs. Adams collected 7 offensive rebounds but it was his interior defence on Hall of Famer Tim Duncan that drew praise from observers.
ESPN correspondent Royce Young claimed “Adams hasn’t played a better game in a Thunder uniform” and OKC coach Scott Brooks observed “Steven was terrific all game long on both ends of the floor”.
Oklahoma had to back up the following day but comfortably accounted for the Charlotte Hornets who they thumped 98-75 – Adams had a sedate 5points/9 rebounds/ block compared with his high velocity effort the day before.
The Thunder played their third game in four days visiting Dallas to take on the Mavericks on December 28th. OKC led 88-81 entering the final quarter but the heavy holiday schedule took its toll on the Thunder as they went down 112-107. Adams shot 4 from 8 from the field on his way to 11pts/6rebs/2assists and 1 block.
In the ANBL it was mate against mate as BJ Anthony’s Adelaide 36ers entertained Leon Henry’s Townsville Crocodiles on Saturday night. Henry put up the better numbers but it was Anthony and the 36ers (6-10) wearing the smiles as they defeated the Crocs (5-11), 91-84.
Henry came off the bench to contribute a very useful 12 points (2/3 3PG’s), 4 rebounds and 2 blocks. Anthony played 12 minutes adding 5 rebounds and a block to a couple of points.
In Europe our two Tall Blacks have been starters for their respective clubs in recent times. However at the weekend both were consigned to bench roles as Manresa and Dramas enjoyed good wins.
In Spain, La Bruixa d’Or Manresa recorded their second win in five games since the arrival of Isaac Fotu and just their third win of the season. They defeated UCAM Murcia 80-68. Fotu found himself in foul trouble and in just 14 minutes game time went scoreless for the first time since joining Manresa.
In Greece Rob Loe and his Dramas team pulled off a very good road win beating the more fancied Nea Kifisia 79-78. Loe played just 8 minutes contributing 4 points, 3 rebounds and a block as Dramas improved to 4-7.
The WNBL takes a break over Christmas week, as does the French League so Erin Rooney, Micaela Cocks, Jillian Harmon, Toni Edmondson and West Coast Waves coach Kennedy Kereama get a welcome rest this week.