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Thunder’s offense falters early, lose big in 134-116 loss to Hornets

Oklahoma City loses fifth straight in a shootout with Charlotte

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder came into Monday’s matchup with the Charlotte Hornets looking to end a four-game losing streak.

But the Hornets were just too much for OKC as they lost 134-116.

Both teams came out firing from three, setting the tone for a high-scoring affair. Midway through the first quarter, things were tied at 21.

Oklahoma City went on a 20-5 scoring run, which pushed their lead to 15. The Thunder’s 41 first-quarter points were the most they’ve scored all season.

While the Thunder entered the second quarter up double digits, they quickly saw their lead dwindle.

This was kudos to Isaiah Thomas, who scored all 12 points in the second period.

Suddenly, the Thunder saw themselves trailing 65-64 at halftime.

The second half featured a three-point barrage from the Hornets. Led by Lamelo Ball’s 14 third-quarter points, Charlotte’s lead grew to 15.

Once taking the big lead, it wasn’t much the Thunder could do defensively.

“They’re an excellent offensive team, very hard to contain, and that showed tonight,” Mark Daigneault said.

Unable to make the game close, Oklahoma City would lose 134-116.

Biggest Takeaways

The Hornets guards were their catalyst tonight. While Ball finished with 21 points, his backcourt mate Terry Rozier led the team with 30 points.

Not to mention, Kelly Oubre was another bench spark tonight, pitching in 11 points off the bench.

However, the offense wasn’t the problem for the Thunder tonight. Oklahoma City had five players in double figures, including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who led all scorers with 32.

Darius Bazley followed his season-high 29 points yesterday vs. Memphis with 25 points tonight.

“One of the things I hope that is giving him confidence is he has simplified his game, and it's allowing his versatility to emerge,” Daigneault said.

Ultimately, with a shortened rotation, the Thunder couldn't keep up with the Hornets after the first quarter.

Lindy Waters III had a rough shooting night, going 0-6 from three. Meanwhile, Aleksej Pokusevski had an impressive 17 points off the bench and a game-high six turnovers.

On Wednesday, Oklahoma City will start a three-game road trip against the San Antonio Spurs.