Game 46 Recap: Thunder (27-19) def. Hawks (11-35) 140-111
Official Box Score link
I can explain why I didn’t post a game recap last night: it’s because the Thunder didn’t actually play a basketball game last night.
They held a glorified shoot around, with the Atlanta Hawks playing the part of ball boy.
OKC would hit a wide open bucket, and the Hawks would retrieve the Spalding and then kindly return it to the Thunder players. This went on for about 48 minutes.
The Thunder shot a ridiculous 58.1% from the field. And as easy as it was for the home team to score in the paint with the Hawks lacking any sort of rim protection, OKC scored just as effortlessly from 23 feet away from the basket. The Thunder converted on an even more ridiculous 14 of 25 from 3 point range.
While Thunder fans were treated to the highest scoring game of the season, Oklahoma native Trae Young’s homecoming one day after being named an All Star starter started off a bit rocky due to one Lu Dort. The two way undrafted rookie used his strength to bother the 35 pounds lighter Young into a scoreless first quarter.
Trae showed why he’s a superstar in the making by brushing off the first 12 minutes and finishing with 26 points and 16 assists. Billy Donovan dished Young an assist of his own, though, by playing Dort only 16 minutes on the night.
The night was a win all the way around for Thunder fans: the Thunder secured their fourth straight win, hometown hero Trae Young provided a highlight reel for his family, friends and fans in Loud City, and OKC got in an extra bonus night of shooting practice.
- Here’s how much cushion OKC has over Memphis and San Antonio: The Thunder could lose their next 5 games, and the Grizzlies and Spurs could both win their next 5 games, and OKC would still be ahead of them both for the 7 seed.
- I can see why the Atlanta Hawks want to trade for Steven Adams so badly. They have zero paint protection. Shai, CP3, Schroder and Noel scored at the rim whenever they wished.
- The Hawks would have won this game if Trae Young was as good a shooter as Mike Muscala.
- Muscala is now 8 of 10 from 3 point range in his last two games.
- The Thunder are now 3-0 in the Lu Dort era.
- Lu Dort has started three straight games and defended each opponents’ leading scorer. Those three guys: James Harden, Evan Fournier and Trae Young. The three of them combined to score 7 total points in the first quarter. All 7 points came from James Harden.
- Nerlens Noel hit a 3 from almost 30 feet, nothing but net. It didn’t count, but it still looked really cool.
- Trae Young Chris Pauled Chris Paul. Respect, youngin.
- The way Shai uses the glass and angles for bank shots and layups is next level. He’s like the Minnesota Fats of basketball. That reference is for the boomers.
- The Thunder’s offense is on fire and they were brilliant last night…but the 2018 Oklahoma Sooners football team was tougher to score on than this Hawks defense.
- There was so much drama dependent on whether Bazley would hit that last free throw so OKC could hit 140, an insane number in a non-overtime game. The rook came up clutch.
- The 29 point win is the largest of the season for OKC. First time this season OKC scored 30+ in all four quarters. Nuts to score that much and no single player scored more than Gallo’s 25. This team’s scoring is so balanced every single night.
- Up next: at Minnesota in like, 4 hours. Half the team is out tonight. And yet, I still expect the Thunder to pull out a win. They’ve spoiled us.