Dort has not played since March 27; Bazley has not played since March 4 with what he revealed postgame as a fractured scapula. Both players had great returns to the court tonight.
Bazley finished with 17 points, five assists, and nine rebounds. Although he did finish with nine turnovers, I would not put too much stock in the turnovers. A lot of them can be justified as a result of him not playing in over a month.
Moreover, Darius is playing with a completely different team than he played with before injuring his shoulder. The unfamiliarity seemed to cause a lot of simple communication issues and, consequently, turnovers.
Outside of Dort and Bazley, the only other notable players from tonight were Tony Bradley and Ty Jerome.
Bradley played his best game with the Thunder as he played his former team, finishing with a 16 point and 14 rebounds double-double. Bradley also added three blocks to a productive night for the big young man out of UNC.
Jerome finished with 12 points and five assists and had a passing clinic tonight. Jerome was hitting his targets and creating scoring opportunities for his team.
Aleksej Pokusevski left the game after playing just eight minutes due to right arm soreness on the injury front. It was reported by the other Thunder beat writers that Poku was bothered by his shoulder during shootaround and that he spent time with the personal trainer.
Daigneault mentioned postgame that Poku had been dealing with discomfort before the game and tried to give it a go, but after eight minutes, it appears that Poku and the team thought it was not worth the risk to let him continue to play.
The 76ers are one of the better teams in the league, so this game’s result should not be that big of a shocker, especially when the current state of the Thunder is considered.
The 76ers were able to pressure the Thunder all game long, which resulted in OKC turning it over 22 times, compared to 21 team assists. This lack of ball security led to Philadelphia taking 18 more total shots, and when such a massive differential in field goal attempts occurs, it is hard to win unless the team is shooting lights out from three.
Next Game: The Thunder visit Utah as they play the Jazz on Tuesday.