It felt like the Thunder let this one get away from them at the end, the team was not able to muster up enough offense in the fourth quarter and simply missed good looks.
The team had seven players in double digit scoring, displaying just how well balanced the team’s offensive responsibilities are. The Thunder also settled for less three’s (7-of-26) and focused more on attacking the Spurs in the paint, as they do not have a true rim protector either.
The Thunder scored 50 points in the paint. OKC did a poor job at taking care of the ball, turning it over 13 times, which resulted in 26 points for San Antonio. The Spurs killed OKC in the midrange and scored a lot of their points there.
But even with this loss being a bitter pill to swallow, there were a few individual bright spots in tonight’s game.
SGA was once again fantastic tonight as he finished with 20 points and nine rebounds. Shai has seemed to discover the secret to getting calls to go his way as he went to the line nine times this game and has shot 29 free throws in his past four games.
A big complaint by the Thunder fanbase is that Shai does not get the calls he deserves, but his constant drives to the rims have slowly caused the referees to blow air in their whistle more often for the third-year guard.
Unlocking the ability to get the benefit of the doubt from the refs is going to move Shai’s scoring game to the next level. We have seen plenty of players like James Harden and Trae Young make a living at getting to the line and this skillset will help Shai add another weapon to his offensive skill set.
This is the third straight game where Hamidou Diallo was arguably the second-best player for the Thunder as he finished with 16 points in 21 minutes. Diallo carried the scoring momentum he built during the team’s trip to New York back to Oklahoma City as he scored in a multitude of ways.
Diallo has greatly improved his finishing skills and showed tonight just how lethal of a weapon he is for the team in transition.
Lu Dort is starting to reach PJ Tucker levels of efficiency with the corner three as he finished with 12 points that included going 3-of-6 from three. Dort scoring 10+ points is becoming the norm, which is a great sign as to how far Dort has come in his development.
There is not much else I can say that has not already been said about Dort’s surprise offensive jump; the longer this goes, the more likely it is legit and not just a hot streak.
Darius Bazley did a pretty good job on defense going up against guys like LaMarcus Aldridge and Keldon Johnson, neither had big scoring games and Bazley ended up with 12 points tonight.
SGA on the new NBA COVID protocols: "For me personally, it's what necessary and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of this whole COVID thing."— Clemente Almanza (@CAlmanza1007) January 13, 2021
Hamidou Diallo on the new NBA COVID protocols: "The rules is set, it's either you follow them or you don't... I'm for whatever as long as we can keep playing basketball."— Clemente Almanza (@CAlmanza1007) January 13, 2021
Next Game: The Lakers come to town Wednesday as the Thunder look to win their first game this season at home.