The Oklahoma City Thunder went 2-0 on their road trip. Brandon Rahbar recaps the thrilling overtime win over the Charlotte Hornets, as well as the impressive victory over the reigning NBA champion Toronto Raptors.
Mussatto also reported that LiAngelo Ball has joined the Oklahoma City Blue as a practice player (non-roster). “LiAngelo Ball, the middle brother of Lonzo and LaMelo Ball, has joined the Oklahoma City Blue as a practice player, a Thunder spokesman confirmed to The Oklahoman on Sunday. LiAngelo Ball was seen at a Blue game Sunday afternoon in Oklahoma City. He joined the team as a practice player shortly after the G League Winter Showcase earlier this month.”
Erik Gee (SI.com) writes that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a “heck of a” homecoming game in Toronto. “Returning to your home town isn’t always the wild welcome party we want it to be. For Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, not only did he get the welcome home we all wish for, it came with a video tribute to him and Thunder guard Lou Dort. Both Dort and Gilgeous-Alexander will play for Team Canada in the upcoming Olympic Games. When July rolls around, Canadians will join voices and root for the second year rising star, but on Sunday, they most likely wish he would have been anywhere else but Toronto. “
As mentioned by Gee and tweeted out by Maddie Lee (The Oklahoman), the Raptors actually played a video tribute to Canadian-born SGA and Luguentz Dort:
Kyle Lowry and Patrick McCaw of the Raptors left impressed with the sophomore sensation, Gilgeous-Alexander:
Eric Koreen (The Athletic) recaps SGA’s night in Canada, along with the Raptor’s Canadian-born player, Oshae Brissett. “On the other end of the spectrum: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Thunder. Both are 21-year-old guards from the Golden Horseshoe, but that is where the comparisons stop. Gilgeous-Alexander was a Clippers lottery pick, the centrepiece of a trade that landed Paul George in Los Angeles and, now, someone who might grow into the face of the Thunder. Brissett was undrafted, signed a non-guaranteed deal with the Raptors in late July and won a training camp battle to earn a two-way contract that limits his NBA time to 45 games this year.”
Darius Bazley captured our hearts as the official fresh prince of Oklahoma City, and still Bazley continues to find ways to endear himself to Oklahomans–even going so far as to bet $500 on the Oklahoma Sooners in the College Football Playoff. The Sooners didn’t make Bazley a winner in his bet with Kendrick Perkins, but he’s definitely a winner in the eyes of Thunder fans:
Even with a lighter wallet, Bazley managed to hit a career-high four three-pointers in Toronto:
Chris Paul seemed very happy as Shai tied his career-high for the third time this season:
Dennis Schroder missed the game against the Raptors, and is also missing an extra $25,000 after being fined by the NBA for making contact with an official while protesting a call on Friday in Charlotte. “Upset after a turnover he thought should have been a foul call on Cody Zeller late in the third quarter of the Thunder’s 104-102 overtime victory in Charlotte on Friday night, Schroder approached referee CJ Washington at midcourt when play was stopped and grabbed at the official’s wrist to demonstrate what Zeller had done to him.”
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