The last time these two teams met it was December in OKC. That game ended with the Thunder winning in a triple overtime thriller. Russ had his usual triple double, Embiid and Simmons played outstanding ball and these two teams brought their trash talking competitiveness to another level. It was one of those match ups that you remember for the sheer attitude exuded during every break. Luckily, that was just the first of two times that the teams would meet this season and last night was the rematch. Only a few minutes into the first quarter and we were treated to this gem:
The police were immediately notified of the crime and Joel Embiid was swiftly sentenced to potential dunk of the year candidate and we were able to move along with the game. Damn, that was nasty.
Unfortunately, this one wouldn't go to overtime but it was exciting enough for 48 minutes to suffice. These teams seem to have cultivated an intense dislike for one another in just 2 meetings this season and in a league where rivalries don't carry the same angst that they used to, their grit is welcomed. After losing Roberson for the season, OKC was motivated to show up big and rally behind their fallen man, which they did. Since realizing the need to unleash Westbrook and stop sharing for the sake of sharing, the Thunder have been playing on another level. And after being posterized early, Russ turned it on. He scored 37 points and racked up 14 assists to go with 9 rebounds while exhibiting exactly what made him the MVP of the league last year, namely his ferociousness. It's hard to find a harder competitor in the NBA. While it was back and forth and the young Sixers put up a good fight, the Thunder took the win and swept the season series. Even after being victimized early, Russ got the last laugh and had a moment of satisfaction as he stared down Embiid on the bench while the clock ran out.
That's some pure Russ shit right there. If there were any way the NBA could adjust the schedule and these two teams could meet 5 or 6 more times this year I would be all over it. It's the perfect pairing of the loud mouthed shit talking of Joel Embiid and the murderous attitude of Russ. Throw in a little Steven Adams and this match up is easily one of my favourite shows on TV. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until next year for the third installment. It's going to be a while but the next episode of the JoJo and Russ show is going to be a good one.