The Thunder were able to blow out the Hawks at home by scoring a season high 140 points on 58.1/ 56.0/ 75.8, team shooting splits, which includes going 14-25 from three, against a bottom five defensive team. OKC moves to a season best 8 games above .500.
This was a great team win that saw elite offensive production from the Thunder’s entire rotation tonight. OKC had 6 players with double digit points, 4 players with double digit shot attempts, and 28 team assists. This was easily the Thunder’s best offensive output this season, as they scored 30+ points in each quarter and won by a season high 29 point margin of victory.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 24 points on 7-16 shooting with a batch of his impressive layups and floaters — the kind he seems to make every game. Gilgeous-Alexander also finished with 5 assists and 3 blocks along with going an impressive 10-13 from the free throw line.
An efficient scoring night for Danilo Gallinari, who scored 25 points on just 7-10 shooting, included 4-6 from three. Gallinari was hot all game long and was the beneficiary on some wide open catch and shoot threes.
After scoring 31 points against the Magic last game, Dennis Schroder continued his hot shooting by scoring 21 points on 8-16 shooting, mostly on jumpers against his former team. Schroder also dished out 8 assists and was competitive on the defensive end.
Chris Paul wasn’t really needed to step up this game, but still had a good night nonetheless. Paul finished with 18 points and five assists. Paul had an unusual 4 turnovers tonight, rare bad ball security from a guy who is averaging a career low 2.0 TOPG this season.
It looks like Mike Muscala has found his shooting stroke recently. Muscala went 4-4 from three against the Magic last game and in this game he scored 14 points on 5-7 shooting, including going 4-6 from three. Muscala has been struggling all season long with his three point shot, shooting just 31.2% from three this season. But Muscala has stepped up huge these past two games with OKC missing Steven Adams.
Speaking of OKC needing players to step up with Adams out, Nerlens Noel did exactly that tonight. Noel was given the starting nod and finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. It looked like Noel might’ve injured himself in the first quarter as he was checked out and went to the locker room, but thankfully he was able to return shortly thereafter.
Darius Bazley was great tonight too, scoring 11 points on 5-7 shooting. Bazley is still a super raw player, but he showed glimpses tonight of the type of player he could develop into with some of his fancy drives and finishes around the rim. One thing that impresses me about Bazley is how confident and not scared he is about taking shots — he doesn’t look scored there on offense when the ball reaches him.
Even Hamidou Diallo had a good game, scoring nine points and grabbing nine rebounds off the bench. Luguentz Dort started again tonight and did a good job at defending Trae Young tonight, who scored just 26 points on 7-20 shooting. Dort also helped on offense by hitting on a rare three and scoring 5 points.
Everybody will be talking about how great the offense was tonight, but OKC also did a great job at limiting the Hawks’ offensive production. The Thunder did a great job at defending the perimeter against the three-point loving Hawks, who only went 11-36 from deep. As mentioned earlier, OKC did a great job at defending Young and making the All Star starter earn his 26 points.
My only complaints on defense would be all the easy shots that John Collins was given in transition, and all the open threes Cam Reddish was given. OKC probably recognizes that Reddish is a poor outside shooter, just hitting on 29.2% of his shots from three, but still they have to do a better job at closing out and not just giving up easy looks. Collins finished with 28 points on 13-16 shooting in 27 minutes while Reddish finished with 20 points on 7-11 shooting and shot 4-6 from three.