The Oklahoma City Thunder came into this Halloween night game against the Milwaukee Bucks looking to make another defensive statement, this time against a team not depleted by injuries. The Thunder defense and a balanced offensive attack led them to a 110-91 victory on Tuesday night. The defense came into the game ranked 3rd in defensive efficiency and they made that rank ring true tonight, giving little breathing room to the Bucks.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s night was spent seeing many Thunder blue jerseys between himself and the basket. Andre Roberson provided the initial defense and there were help defenders on either side. The Thunder’s team defense on Giannis limited his paint presence and forced the other guys to put up contested shots. The Thunder also made the Greek Freak work on defense and got him into early foul trouble, keeping him on the sidelines while OKC made their big push in the middle of the game.
The Thunder settled in quickly after going on a 16-0 run to take a 20-8 lead and never looked back. A 60-42 lead into the halftime break stretched 28 in the 2nd half before the starters were pulled for the rest of the night.
Paul George continues to find his groove and it is truly starting to look easy for him. He is hitting shots as if he was in the gym putting up shots after practice with no defense on him. The ball moved naturally and fluently tonight and when it found George, his shooting stroke was pure.
Russell Westbrook’s penetration opened up lanes for Steven Adams to get easy baskets, also freed up Carmelo Anthony and George for wide-open threes. Westbrook was 1 assist shy of triple double in just 27 minutes.
The Thunder shot 49% from the field and they assisted on 25 of the 49 field goals made. They also dominated the Bucks in the rebounding battle, 46-31. The Thunder defense continued to impress holding the Bucks to 42% shooting from the field and forced 15 turnovers.
George led a balanced Thunder scoring attack with 20 points. Westbrook had 12 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists. Adams pitched in another night of efficiency with 14 points on 70% shooting along with 11 rebounds. Melo also scored in double-digits with 17 points. Jerami Grant scored 17 points off the bench.
The Greek Freak led the Bucks with 28 points on 9-of-14 shooting, however he was the only Bucks player in double digits.
What was, overall, the main reason why the Thunder won?
Ball movement and defense. After stagnating early with only two assists in the books at the end of the 1st quarter, the Thunder broke loose and recorded 21 assists on their last 28 made shots. Moving the Buck’s defense with crisp passes created easy shots and the Thunder capitalized by hitting 49.4% from the field, 42.9% from 3, and hit 85.7% of their free throws. A stifling Thunder defense didn’t allow Milwaukee more than 23 pts in a quarter until the starters sat for most of the fourth.
R.K's Round Table
Thunder Wonder: Paul George, 20 pts, 4 of 8 from 3, and 47.1% overall
Thunder Down Under: The Monster Mash!! Steven Adams, 13 pts, 70% from the field (Adams 5th consecutive game in double figures and 3rd double-double of the season)
Thunder Blunder: Nick Collison (everyone played great, only reason Nick gets the Blunder is for not insisting in joining the Halloween fun)
Thunder Plunderer: Giannis Antetokounmpo, this kid is going to be a superstar.
Thunder vs Boston Celtics
Chesapeake Energy Arena
Friday, 8:30PM cdt
Who was your Thunder Wonder and why?
This poll is closed