In a game that OKC could’ve easily lost due to the amount of bodies out, the Thunder still managed to find a way to win a road game that was their third in four nights and the second end of a back to back. That’s been the main theme from this season so far — as long as they have five bodies out there, the Thunder will compete and stay competitive in most of their games.
In tonight’s edition, OKC was missing four rotation players, including two starters. Steven Adams, who has been out since Monday, played a noble 23 minutes against Karl-Anthony Towns despite the Thunder lacking front court depth. Danilo Gallinari and Nerlens Noel were both out, and it was clear that Adams played hobbled and hurt, looking slow and limping all game long. Adams didn’t score, but he knew his team needed him and he finished with four blocks and provided quality minutes.
Realizing the Thunder needed his scoring, Chris Paul finished with 25 points on 10-18 shooting and 10 assists, including another clutch fourth quarter performance to close this game out after the Wolves made a run at the end. Dennis Schroder was the other big scorer for the Thunder tonight, finishing with 26 points on 8-19 shooting and 4-6 from three.
Man... Luguentz Dort continues to impress with his defense, as he did a great job at defending the Wolves backcourt. Dort even stepped up on offense with 10 points, including a couple of threes.
Another one of the young players to step up tonight was Darius Bazley, who finished with 15 points, including some really impressive finishes around the rim with his off hand, and strong dunks.
A quiet double-double for Hamidou Diallo, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Diallo did most of his scoring in the paint, but bailed out a lost possession by hitting a deep two as the shot clock was about to expire.
Another hot shooting night for Mike Muscala, who scored 11 points and went 3-6 from three off the bench. Muscala has been hot all week long, and that continued tonight in Minnesota.
It was a struggling shooting night for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who finished with 11 points on 3-14 shooting. But to be fair, a lot of those misses came on shots that probably should’ve been called fouls, but the referees were objectively bad tonight for both teams. Also Gilgeous-Alexander is too young to get those calls — give it a couple of seasons and his FTAs will rise significantly with the amount of times he drives to the basket and manages to create contact with his awkward shooting angles. Even so, Gilgeous-Alexander did manage to score seven of those 11 points in the fourth quarter when OKC needed him to do to close out this game.
If the Thunder lost this game, I don’t think too many people would be upset. They had every reason to lose it. But nope, they still won this game anyway. The resilience of this team has been the most impressive thing about this team this season.