Billy Donovan Credits Carmelo Anthony, Paul George for Steven Adams' Hot Streak

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2017

Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) grabs a rebound in front of Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Oklahoma City won 100-94. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Steven Adams had his third straight stellar game Tuesday night, scoring 20 points and grabbing nine rebounds in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 100-94 win over the Utah Jazz.

Coach Billy Donovan pointed to the Thunder's two high-profile acquisitions as the reason Adams' offensive game has opened up.

"I think people have it really backwards," Donovan said after the game, per ESPN.com's Royce Young. "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."

Adams, 24, is averaging 22.0 points and 8.3 rebounds over the Thunder's three-game winning streak. He's missed just six times on 34 shot attempts during that stretch.

Donovan was likely referring to the way Anthony and George open the middle of the floor for Adams, who gets most of his points on rim runs and putbacks. Those baskets are far easier with Anthony and George's men attempting to corral them on the perimeter.

"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."

Oklahoma City's three-game winning streak has come against the Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs and Utah, all playoff teams if the regular season ended today.

The Thunder outscored the Jazz 32-14 in the fourth quarter, with Adams corralling an Anthony miss for a putback with 43 seconds remaining to give Oklahoma City a two-possession lead.