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Thunder Journal: The First Win

Thunder Journal: The First Win

The Thunder notched their first win of the season on Tuesday night with a 108-94 drubbing of the title-contending Clippers.

And they did it without Josh Giddey, Chet Holmgren, or Jalen Williams! Somewhat related: Los Angeles were missing Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Marcus Morris.

Even still, LA boasts plenty of talented players outside of their stars. Nicolas Batum. Norman Powell. Reggie Jackson. Ivica Zubac. John Wall. Luke Kennard. Terance Mann. Amir Coffey. Robert Covington. They’re labeled as the deepest team in the NBA and their play under Ty Lue last season while missing Kawhi and PG13 validated the notion.

But none of LA’s depth nor solid role players mattered because a former Clipper was by far and away the best player on the court.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was listed as OUT for most of the day. He ended up taking the Clippers OUT instead.

Here’s some notes on OKC’s victory, even if it wasn’t a Victor-y:

  • SGA’s stat line was ridiculous. 33 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 blocks, 3 steals.
  • Scratch that, it wasn’t ridiculous. It was historic. Shai is now the only player in NBA history to finish with 30+ points, 8+ assists, 3+ blocks, 3+ steals while shooting 100% from 3 and 100% from the free throw line.
  • Aleksej Pokusevski now has more wins than LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, Keegan Murray and Paolo Banchero combined.
  • SGA and Tre Mann combined for 58 points. The Clippers lost to the Paul George trade.
  • OKC’s T Mann had 25 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 0 blocks and 2 steals. LAC’s T Mann had 9 points, 9 rebounds, 0 assists, 1 block and 1 steal.
  • OKC’s T Mann > LAC’s T Mann.
  • Aaron Wiggins got his first start of the season and responded with a double double. He had 11 points and 10 rebounds and played smothering defense with 3 steals and 1 block.
  • Lu Dort continues to struggle offensively to start the season. He had 4 points on 1-11 shooting including 0-6 from 3. The sample size is small, he’s coming off a shoulder injury and he’s historically a streaky shooter. Gotta imagine he’ll settle in as the 33.5% or so 3-point shooter he’s been the past two seasons on high volume.
  • Kenrich Williams and Mike Muscala would’ve been perfect role playing, positive plus minus box score glue guys on past Thunder playoff teams and will be on future Thunder playoff teams.
  • SGA and Tre Mann: 21-46 for 58 points including 4-10 from 3.
  • Every other OKC player: 21-64 for 50 points including 0-20 from 3.
  • Next up: the Clippers again in OKC again on Thursday night. The way Shai is playing, even if Kawhi and George return, SGA may still end up being the best player on the court.