Despite the Thunder’s record, they actually have one of the best defenses in all of basketball. OKC holding opponents to the fifth fewest points in the NBA per game.
OKC hosted the Zion Williamson-less Pelicans without Steven Adams either who was also recovering from a knee injury. The game got off to a fast start for the Thunder with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hitting a couple of early layups one of which was plus a foul. OKC had an 11-2 advantage. SGA had a game high 23 points.
In the second, Hami Diallo got loose. He had a blocked shot go back to him which he slammed home. Then OKC forced one of their 16 turnovers on the afternoon resulting in a Diallo windmill. Diallo finished with 12 points. Danilo Gallinari added a late three and the Thunder held a 65-60 lead at the half. Gallinari had 16 for the Thunder.
In the third, Chris Paul started the scoring hitting a triple. CP3 had 15 points. Darius Bazley put on a show as well. He knocked down a big time three and added a finger roll to give the Thunder a seven point lead. Bazley had a career high 17 points on five of ten shooting.
In the fourth the Thunder didn’t stop. Dennis Schroder attacked the basket with just over a minute to go to put the game away for OKC. He had 17 points. One of six players in double figures for the Thunder. OKC won 115-104 in a game where both 1-4 teams needed a win.
Next up for OKC they wrap up a three game home stand against the Magic on Tuesday.