Good morning, the Thunder are slipping with Russell Westbrook

The Thunder lost a third straight since the return of Russ, the Clippers cooled off the Rockets, Manu's shoe exploded and much more in Thursday's NBA newsletter.

SIGN UP FOR OUR NBA NEWSLETTER

Get news, links and Ziller's #hottakes in your inbox every weekday morning.

Good morning. Let's basketball.

OH KYRIE: Cleveland stunned the Thunder in OKC on Wednesday, winning by 10 after scoring 42 in the fourth. Kyrie Irving finished with 31 points on 10-19 shooting and nine assists against the No. 4 defense in the league. (Tristan Thompson was also quite good.) It was a signature win for the Cavaliers.

... and the Thunder's third straight loss since Russell Westbrook returned. Welcome To Loud City insists that OKC will never trade Westbrook, but criticizes Scott Brooks and the Thunder bench for last night's performance. The defense has been pretty awful since the All-Star Break.

L.A. RISING: The Clippers cooled down the Rockets in a big Western battle after beating the Thunder on Sunday.

WELL, THAT GOT OUT OF HAND: The Nets lost to the Blazers ... by 44 points.

THE BIZARRO 2005 FINALS: No one who remembers that series will believe that the Spurs beat the Pistons 120-110 in regulation on Wednesday. (In that Finals, one of the teams scored less than 70 as many times as one time scored more than 100.)

FLAT TIRE: During that game, Manu Ginobili's sneaker basically exploded.

UM, WHAT?: The Bulls beat the Warriors by 20.

SCORES SCORES SCORES: All the recaps you need.

A BARGAIN OF DISASTROUS PROPORTIONS: On June 23, 2011, three mediocre teams shook up the lottery and their rosters. No one involved would be the same again. It's the Threeway of Incomparable Regret.

THE GOOD GAVEL: The arena project in Sacramento will not go on the ballot after a judge threw out a lawsuit by anti-arena activists. Further appeals are possible, but groundbreaking is on schedule for September.

THE FAMOUS FOX CAN'T REACH THE GRAPES: The best translated bits of Andrea Bargnani's Italian blog.

MERCY: Frank Isola goes hard on the Knicks.

SILVER LININGS FOR THE PURPLE AND GOLD: Matt Tynan on the solace in the Lakers' awful season.

SILVER LININGS FOR THE BLUE AND ORANGE: Mike Jones on the upside of Kendrick Perkins' injury.

EVERY TEAM'S SEASON IN ONE CHART: Showing cumulative offensive and defensive efficiency. Chicago is a self-parody.

THE BEST THERE IS: Thanks to LeBron's largess, the entire Miami Heat roster can now pretend to be WWE champions. (Chris Bosh remains the best.)

THE ALL GOLD STRIKE TEAM: Ben Golliver on 10 second-round picks who have made it big in the past decade.

DREADFUL ARMADA: A few days ago I explored whether the Sixers were too awful, such that their rebuild would be stunted by the depths reached this season. Sean O'Connor of Liberty Ballers has a well-considered response.

SPEAKING OF WHICH: The five worst Sixers performances of February.

hahahaha: "Lance Stephenson the best."

A MAGICAL SCRUBBING: Rob Hennigan took over the Magic two years ago. Orlando has just one holdover player ... and Hennigan kept him on an extension. How did he make over the team so fast?

THE POWER OF LOVE: On Kevin Love's amazing February and monster season. Bill Simmons also tosses out five K-Love trade ideas.

AFTER SLOAN IT'S THE AFTER-PARTY: If you're attending Sloan in Boston this week, you'll definitely want to attend The Rock On Foundation's after-party on Saturday night. More details here or contact @Ananth_Pandian.

Happy Thursday. See you next time.

SIGN UP FOR OUR NBA NEWSLETTER

Get news, links and Ziller's #hottakes in your inbox every weekday morning.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.