Asik beats the hack-a-Turk plan from Thunder
Hack-an-Asik was put in full force for the first time this season. It didn't work out for Oklahoma City.
The strategy was employed starting at the 6:23 mark of the fourth quarter with the Thunder down 10 points, 92-82. Oklahoma City was trying to take advantage of Asik's 56.2 free-throw percentage. Instead, the Rockets big man shot 9-14 (64.2 percent) over the next two-and-a-half minutes. By the end of the strategy, OKC had cut the deficit a total of one point.
"They fouled me. I just tried to knock down the free throws," Asik said. "I'm happy. I missed some but I made some. I'm happy we won the game.
"I just didn't think too much," Asik said as he talked about his approach. "Because we had the lead, I was relaxed. I just shot the ball, and made some and missed some."
"He really stood up there and made big free throws," Kevin McHale said. "Scotty (Brooks) went with the, what would that be called, Hack-a-Turk? And O stood up and made big free throws."
At one point, the Rockets were considering substituting in Aaron Brooks for Asik, but then the Giant Turk proved worthy of staying on the floor amidst the situation.
"We were thinking about going in for O, but then he started making them, so I said, 'Let him go,'" McHale said. "And he made them and we were able to keep him on the floor because when he's on the floor, the defense is so much better."
For the game, Asik finished with his second straight double double at 21 points and 11 rebounds. He made 13-18 free throws, a 72.2 percentage.