The Thunder (14-20) entered the game on a two-game win streak after knocking off the Atlanta Hawks and San Antonio Spurs for the team’s 13th and 14th wins. They started the week and homestand with a loss to the Miami Heat last Monday.
After a much-needed three days off, OKC only plays twice before All-Star weekend, including a pair of Texas road games at Dallas and San Antonio.
Before the Thunder hit the road, let’s take a look at last week’s action with some key takeaways from the four-game stretch at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
HEAT 108, THUNDER 94
Oklahoma City led 54-45 at halftime but couldn’t survive a late burst by Miami in the team’s first of two losses last week.
- It was a tale of two halves for both teams. OKC entered halftime with a 54-45 lead after shooting over 54% in the first half. However, the Thunder scored just 40 points in the second half on 33% shooting. Miami shot 35% in the first half and 54% in the second.
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was outstanding in the first half, scoring 18 of his game-high 27 points on 6-for-7 shooting. He seemed like OKC’s only option most of the game as the rest of the team shot just 37% from the field.
- OKC, unfortunately, missed Al Horford on the back-to-back, especially on the defensive end. The Thunder felt Bam Adebayo’s presence all night as he went for 19 points with 13 rebounds and five assists. He helped lead Miami to a 45-38 advantage on the boards, 40 points in the paint, and 16 second-chance points.
THUNDER 102, SPURS 99
Luguentz Dort drilled a game-winning three-pointer against the Spurs, helping lift the Thunder to their second win in four days.
- Dort’s game-winning triple was the product of unselfishness. Gilgeous-Alexander inbounded the ball to Horford, who dribbled down the lane, drawing the defender before a kick out to Dort. SGA didn’t force a bad shot, Horford realized he was well-defended, and Dort cashed in.
- Gilgeous-Alexander had one of those ‘All-Star snub’ performances. He scored 42 points (13-for-20) with eight rebounds and four assists, getting his shot from all points on the floor while not trying to force his way to a possible 50-point game.
- SGA led OKC to a 36-point third quarter, helping the team bounce back from a tough performance in the first half. The star guard scored 21 points on 5-for-5 shooting, including 3-for-3 from the three-point range. The Thunder entered the fourth quarter with momentum and a 76-73 lead after being down by 11 at one point.
THUNDER 118, HAWKS 109
OKC was forced to switch uniforms at halftime of a blowout win over the Atlanta Hawks, the team’s second straight victory and third in four games.
- The Thunder were ultra-efficient in their second straight win. They finished with 31 assists on 46 made baskets while shooting over 52% from the field and 38% from the three-point range. The team also turned the ball over only 10 times.
- OKC held star point guard Trae Young to just 17 points on 7-for-21 shooting. He also did not attempt a free throw. Young entered the night, averaging over 26 points per game as well as over nine free-throw attempts.
- Everyone seemed to contribute to the Thunder. Darius Bazley and Theo Maledon each finished with a double-double, Dort scored 19 points, Kenrich ‘Hustle’ Williams and Mike Muscala combined for 25 points, and SGA scored a team-high 24.
- The Thunder changed from their ‘sunset’ uniforms to the traditional home whites. The viewing experience was definitely different in the first half, with the Hawks in their road reds clashed with OKC in orange.
NUGGETS 126, THUNDER 96
The Nuggets snapped the Thunder’s two-game win streak as they closed the week with a blowout loss to Denver.
- Denver pretty much cruised as OKC played the second end of a back-to-back and its third game in four days. The Thunder never led, while the Nuggets saw their lead eventually balloon to 37 points. Denver shot 55% overall and went 15-for-31 (48%) from the three-point range.
- Darius Bazley, Ty Jerome, and Isaiah Roby were bright spots on a night Gilgeous-Alexander, Dort, and Horford combined for just 21 points. Bazley scored 22 while Jerome and Roby chipped in 15 apiece. Williams also scored in double figures with 12 off the bench.
- The Nuggets are a tough matchup for any team when Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Michael Porter Jr. produce them against OKC. Jokic finished with a triple-double on 19 points, 13 assists, and 11 rebounds. Murray scored a game-high 26 points, and Porter Jr. finished with a double-double on 29 points and 10 rebounds.
A LOOK AHEAD
WED at Dallas (16-16) Last Meeting: L 107-97 (Jan. 27, 2020)
- OKC meets Luka Doncic and the Mavericks for the first time this season. The Mavs currently sit in ninth in the Western Conference standings, led by Doncic, who is averaging over 28 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists per game.
THU at San Antonio (17-12) Last Meeting: W 102-99 (Feb. 24)
- The Thunder look for their second straight win against the Spurs, who sit in fifth in the West standings. It will also be OKC’s final game before the All-Star break.