In a record-tying night, the 76ers' 121-90 win pushed the Thunder’s losing streak to 14 games, tying a franchise record set in the 2008-09 season.
Getting in the top three of the lottery will be crucial because all three teams have the same odds of landing the first overall pick (14%).
The Rockets and Timberwolves are too far ahead in the loss column for OKC to catch up, so that leaves the third slot as the most realistic highest slot the Thunder could land.
A 14-game losing streak has helped the Thunder cover much ground in terms of the lottery standings. This losing streak is the second-longest one this season, behind Houston’s 20 games losing streak earlier this year.
In terms of tonight’s game, turnovers really killed the Thunder as they finished with 29 of them.
With such a huge talent disparity already between the Thunder and 76ers, turning the ball over this many times will make it nearly impossible for a competitive game to occur, and that’s exactly what happened tonight, with the 76ers leading by double digits for most of the game.
Ty Jerome was fantastic off the bench this game, finished with 22 points. Jerome did a good job at beating his guy off the dribble and hitting his threes. Jerome has a nice game that revolves around skill more than athleticism.
Tonight was another encouraging performance for Darius Bazley as he finished with 14 points, which included some impressive acrobatic drives to the rim. On a few possessions, Bazley avoided the defenders and used his length to finesse his way to the basket for easy buckets.
“He’s definitely done a good job at getting to the rim, finishing those plays,” said Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault postgame.
While his box score stats don’t really pop out, I thought Aleksej Pokusevski had a good game and played some brilliant basketball.
This is a 10 pick jump for Poku as he went 17th overall in real life. It also reflects greatly on the Thunder as they were able to identify and draft someone who has recently received a lot of national media love due to his post-G League Bubble performance. Props to Sam Presti and the scouting department for finding real NBA talent and potential in Poku and Theo Maledon. Imagine what they can do with a Top 5 pick.
The newest member of the Thunder also saw some action tonight. Charlie Brown Jr. played 12 minutes tonight despite Daigneault mentioning that Brown Jr. playing tonight was up in the air. Brown Jr. signed a 10-day deal Sunday.
This game also saw the return of George Hill and the Thunder sharing a court. In 14 minutes, Hill finished with two points. Hill was traded to the 76ers from the Thunder during the March 25 trade deadline. Hill only managed to play 14 games for OKC before undergoing thumb surgery that he only recently came back from.
Another former Thunder on the 76ers is Danny Green, who missed tonight’s game but has a great season for them, shooting 41.4% from three on over six attempts a game. Green was acquired by the Thunder in the Dennis Schroder to Lakers trade and was then traded to the 76ers in the Al Horford trade.
While losing 14 straight games isn’t something to be proud of and can demoralize both a team and its fanbase, there are silver linings in a rebuilding season, and I think Kenrich Williams put it best postgame:
“We’ve been losing games, but if we can develop the guys while playing our hardest, that’s all you can ask for.”
Next Game: Thunder travel to Boston to play the Celtics on Tuesday at 6 p.m. CST.