With the Thunder down 80-63 with 5:11 left in the third quarter, it started to feel like a bad loss for this team as they have played, up to this point, uncharacteristically sloppy and disinterested. OKC was missing a bunch of good looks on offense, especially around the rim. The defense was struggling to put it nicely, giving up a ton of easy looks around the rim and from deep along with giving up a bunch of offensive rebounds that led to 16 second chance points. All the momentum was with the Kings. But knowing this team, they’re never truly out of any game and that was the case once again.
OKC finished on a 49-28 run to steal this game and completing the 19 point comeback.
This was another well balanced attack as OKC saw seven of their players score double digits.
Chris Paul had another clutch fourth quarter performance with nine points and finished with 17 points and seven assists. The big Paul play came late in the fourth quarter with 3:32 left. Paul hit a contested three point shot that he was fouled on and extended OKC’s lead 103-97. It looked like Paul hurt his hand on the landing as he proceeded to miss the free throw. Paul also was the calming presence at the end of the game after a couple of bad Thunder turnovers that saw them give the Kings chances to make this game interesting. Paul hit a crucial two free throws that extended OKC’s lead to four with 9.5 seconds left. Hopefully Paul’s hand is okay and he won’t have to miss time due to it because this team’s performance is black and white when Paul is on and off the court.
A quiet 24 point performance from Danilo Gallinari tonight. Much like the last game, Gallinari had a hot first quarter but he continued to score throughout the rest of this game. Gallinari had a crazy and one in the fourth quarter that showed his hops in a play that could’ve been dangerous. That play gave the Thunder the lead and they never looked back for the rest of the quarter.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was magnificent this game, finishing with 20 points on 8-15 shooting. Gilgeous-Alexander was able to weave his way around the basket all night long with the Kings not having any true rim protectors on their roster. My only complaint would be Gilgeous-Alexander going just 3-6 from the free throw line which included him missing a couple late ones. The same thing happened in the Bulls game. Luckily, Gilgeous-Alexander was able to bail himself out by grabbing a missed free throw and getting fouled to go back to the line for two more that he made.
Steven Adams had a good game but I wish he would get more scoring opportunities especially in a game like tonight where the Kings had nobody to match up against him. Adams scored 15 points and had seven rebounds but six of those points came in the first three minutes.
Off the bench, Dennis Schroder scored 13 points on 4-12 shooting and Nerlens Noel had 10 points and seven rebounds. Schroder struggled with his shot all game long but was able draw contact and get to the line. Noel scored all of his points on dunks and layups with three of the four coming off of assists.
Interesting to note that Terrance Ferguson only played seven minutes tonight as Billy Donovan went with Hamidou Diallo and Abdel Nader to start a spark in the second half. What makes this decision even more odd is the fact that Ferguson just had his best game since he came back in Chicago, scoring 11 points.
Overall, this was a great and unlikely win for OKC. At home against an injured Kings team missing their best player in De’Aaron Fox. It’s frustrating that they needed to come back 19 points against this team to begin with but that’s the NBA and you take an ugly win over an ugly loss every time. They really needed this one as tomorrow is looking like a scheduled loss in Milwaukee as they play against the best team in the league.