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Orlando Summer League, Day 4: Thunder Get Great Guard Play, Beat Nets 87-86

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Box Score

SB Nation Recap (courtesy Evan Dunlap)

The Thunder won a close game over the Brooklyn Nets on Day 4 of the Summer League, winning 87-86. The win was punctuated by the Thunder squad that I would argue provided the best sustained offensive play we've seen this week. What made the performance most surprising however was that on Day 4, the Thunder 'stars' rested. Reggie Jackson, Cole Aldrich, Lazar Hayward, and Perry Jones III did not suit up for today's game, leaving the affair in the hands of a number of Thunder hopefuls. Those hopefuls turned out a pretty competent 4 quarters of basketball, coming from behind in the 4th quarter to win.

Headliners:

Dwight Buycks, 22 points on 10-15 shooting, 5 assists (Thunder Wonder)

Buycks was the player of the game for the Thunder. Running the point for the majority of the game, Buycks, a rookie out of Marquettte, showed remarkable growth even from earlier this week in running a steady offense. The biggest attribute that he demonstrated was patience in running the offense. He was getting his first shot to run things, but Buycks never rushed anything, but allowed the game to unfold and waited for his opportunities, setting up his teammates when he could, and taking good shots when they were available.

Buycks also was the key figure in OKC's come-back during the 4th quarter. He hit a number of huge clutch shots that either kept the Thunder in the game or kept them in the lead. It was his turnaround jumper in the lane that gave OKC its final lead that would not be relinquished.

Gary McGee, 10 points, 1 block (Thunder Down Under)

The game was a guard-oriented affair, but McGee provided just enough inside presence for the Thunder perimeter guys to get good looks at the rim. He had a strong series late in the game where he got a critical put-back in one possession and followed it up with a running hook shot in the lane on the next possession.

Garrett Temple, 12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals

Temple could not continue his great shooting from the past two games, but he continued to play very smart offensive basketball. When his jumper wasn't working early on, Temple started to work his way into the lane to get shots at the rim. He had been the best shooter of the past 3 games, so when he didn't have it today it could have been easy for him to just try to shoot himself out of his slump, but bury his team in the process. He resisted this temptation.

Thunder Blunder

None. Every OKC player had positive contributions in this game, and everyone who dressed scored.

If you want to nitpick, you might go with Cole Aldrich's eggshell blue polo shirt, but even that is weak sauce compared to Scott Brooks' hot pink polo shirt number.

Under the Radar:

You could go right on down the roster and comment on everyone in this game, because they all played well and collectively shot over 50% for the game. The two guys that do stand out though are:

John Holland, 15 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists

Holland made 6-11 shots for the game and did a great job scoring while not needing his own set plays. He even hit the Thunder's only 3-pointer of the game.

Marquez Haynes, 7 points, 7 assists, 0 turnovers

If Buycks was the player of the game, Haynes was the perfect balance for him. Haynes ran the point position to perfection while he was on the court. He consistently set up his teammates for open looks and always did so under control. He did not have a single turnover in his time on the court.

The Enemy:

Tyshawn Taylor, 23 points, 5 assists

For most of the game Taylor was the best player on the court. He was able to get past the OKC perimeter defense at will, and in the end it appeared that it would be enough to allow the Nets to retain their lead. However, as the clock wound down and the Thunder made their surge, the OKC bigs tightened up their interior defense and refused to allow Taylor to make the shots he needed to make to keep his team in front.

Al Thornton, 19 points, 3 rebounds

Thornton is a 4th year pro out of Florida St. who is looking to keep his career alive. He did a solid job being active around the rim, making 5-9 from the floor and worked his way to the free throw line 12 times.

Adam Morrison, 4 points, 1 assist

Lastly, I'd be remiss if I did not mention that we had an Adam Morrison sighting in today's game. The former #3 pick in the 2006 draft has been trying to get back into the league for some time now, and unfortunately, it looks like he's going to have to keep trying. I'm not sure what exactly has happened to the guy, but his game has devolved to the point where he looks like a YMCA pick-up game player. He can't play defense, his offensive game is non-existent, so all we're left with is his goofy look. He's had the "Dazed & Confused" look in the past, and sometimes looks like a "That '70's Show" reject, but now he reminds me of Andy and Randy from the movie, "Sex Drive."