The build up was more than 140 days in the making, but for Thunder fans, it was worth the wait. OKC picked up right where they left off dominating the Jazz in their return to play.
Every member of the Thunder kneeled during the national anthem to protest social injustice. Billy Donovan locked arms with Jazz head coach Quin Snyder during that as well.
From the get-go this was OKC’s game. Danilo Gallinari started things off with a slam and a foul. The Thunder went wire to wire after that and never trailed. Gallinari finished with 15 points.
Then Chris Paul hit a tough fade away and Gallo drained a triple and before OKC knew it, they were on a 10-0 run. Defensively the Thunder stifled the Jazz. They held them to just 15 first quarter points, a season low.
In the second, Chris Paul kept his foot on the gas hitting a tough layup plus foul before the half. CP3 poured in 18 points and added seven assists and boards. OKC led 65-42 at the half.
But the story of the first half was Andre Roberson who played five minutes. His first true game action in two years. He had a block and a rebound.
In the third, Steven Adams got in on the action throwing down a slam as OKC cruised. Adams had 16 points and 11 boards.
The Thunder hit some lulls in the second half, but Shai Gilgeous-Alexander didn’t let up. He drained a step back three. He was OKC’s high scorer with 19 points. Darius Bazley also hit a late three to keep OKC in control. Bazley added ten. Six OKC players finished in double figures.
The Thunder won their return game 110-94. Next up in Orlando is the Denver Nuggets on Monday at 3pm.