Nick Gallo (okcthunder.com) recaps last night’s blowout Thunder win in Oakland: “All Thanksgiving week long, the Thunder has been handed circumstances outside of its control and handled them with grace. You could have forgiven this group of guys if three in-game injuries, including a scary one to Hamidou Diallo, would have left everybody rattled. Instead, the Thunder kept rolling on, as it had done in the absence of Russell Westbrook and Terrance Ferguson as they attended to the births of their daughters, and the illnesses to Alex Abrines and Nerlens Noel. With a deliberate, focused and consistent effort for 48 minutes, the Thunder trounced the Warriors 123-95 to head into the Thanksgiving break with an 11-6 record.
Royce Young (ESPN) on Hamidou Diallo’s health: “Despite leaving the floor on a stretcher against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Hamidou Diallo did not suffer any kind of serious leg injury, a team spokesperson said. The initial fear was a severe injury to his left leg, possibly a break, but X-rays done at the arena were negative. Thunder forward Paul George called it an ankle sprain, though team officials declined to confirm the diagnosis. “I was hoping, praying it was nothing too serious, that it wasn’t his knee,” George said. “I think we can all say it’s the best news that it was his ankle and it was a sprain.” Diallo exited the locker room with a boot on his left foot and using crutches, but he was in good spirits after getting what was pretty surprising news considering how scary the play looked.”
A replay of Diallo’s fall for those who missed it:
Erik Horne (Oklahoman) with observations from the Thunder’s blowout win: “GAME BALL: Dennis Schroder. Tremendous bounceback game after a 3-of-17 stinker against the Kings. A season-high 32 points on 11-of-19 shooting (5-of-7 from 3) and just one turnover. Schroder showed off some of the catch-and-shoot ability from 3-point range he had success with in the two year prior to his final season in Atlanta. He effectively started the icing of the game in the fourth quarter, scoring or assisting the Thunder’s first nine points. How those four minutes played out before Russell Westbrook came back and closed the door: Schroder drive good. Schroder to Nerlens Noel alley-oop. Schroder runner good. Schroder cashes a 3-pointer.”
Daniel Hardee (Golden State of Mind) on Thunder’s complete game at Oracle Arena: “In the fourth quarter, Schroder took over the game with Westbrook cheering from the bench. He was hitting from long range, or slicing and dicing the Dubs’ interior defense at will. Sadly, Thunder rookie Hamidou Diallo took a nasty fall with Jonas Jerebko and suffered what appeared to be a major leg injury. Gameplay stopped for an extended amount of time as Diallo writhed in pain. After that, the vibe in the building went completely dead. The Thunder continued to pour it on the shorthanded champs, scoring at will while the Warriors disintegrated on both ends. Damian Jones had 0 rebounds in 21 minutes, while the Thunder crushed the champs for a 61-42 rebounding advantage. The Warriors shot 43% from the field, and only made 7-of-29 three-pointers (24%). The Thunder pretty much ran roughshod over the Dubs in every major statistical category tonight.”
Brett Dawson (Athletic) on the Thunder working through adversity to get the win: “Westbrook, who missed six games between an ankle sprain and the birth of his daughters, still looks out of sorts in his return. Though he had his first triple-double of the season against the Warriors — 11 points, 11 rebounds, 13 assists — he’s still finding his rhythm, rediscovering the balance between getting his own on offense and fitting in new-look system designed for more ball and player movement. After Wednesday’s game, Westbrook said, as he often does, that “the game will tell you what to do.” He’d scored 29 points in the Kings loss, and against the Warriors, the game told him to be a playmaker. He mostly deferred to Schröder and George. That decision suited the Thunder.”
Russ & KD shared a quick embrace after Thunder/Warriors:
Happy Thanksgiving, friends.