In the first preseason game for the Thunder against another NBA team, Oklahoma City trailed by as many as 20 points in the second quarter and 14 at the half, but they roared back to make it a close one in the fourth quarter. The Thunder could not overcome the deficit, however, as they dropped to 1-2 in the preseason, falling 109-115 to the Mavericks in Dallas.
Points Come from Unlikely Sources
Ersan Ilyasova had a solid night, leading the Thunder in scoring with 19 on 7/11 shooting, including 3/5 from downtown. Ilyasova scored 15 of his points in the final 10 minutes of the game, nearly leading the Thunder to a win down the stretch. He also had 11 rebounds, an assist, and a steal.
With 15 days to go until tip-off, Kyle Singler was the focus of today’s Countdown to Tip-Off, and he nearly stole the show for the night–or at least for the 3rd quarter. Singler started the game in the place of an injured Andre Roberson (sore knee), and he finished with 17 points on 5/7 shooting, including 4/6 from behind the arc. Kyle scored 14 of his points in the 3rd quarter on 4/5 shooting, hitting 2/3 from the three-point line, as the Thunder outscored the Mavs 40-26 to tie the game. Singler also had 3 rebounds, an assist, and a steal.
Joffrey Lauvergne finished the game with 15 points on 5/9 shooting to fill out the unusual list of top scorers for the Thunder. Lauvergne also had 6 rebounds, an assist, and a steal.
Injured Players Clearly Missed
The Thunder had several guys out with injury tonight, which definitely had an impact on the game. Cameron Payne is still out for an indefinite period of time as he will be re-evaluated in a month in a half, and the Thunder are taking it slow on Steven Adams as he continues to recover from a sprained ankle that occurred against Real Madrid in Spain. Andre Roberson also sat out with knee soreness, which is more than likely just a precaution as the regular season is only two weeks away.
On a positive note, several guys received even more play time than they normally would due to injured players. Kyle Singler started in place of Andre Roberson, and Ersan Ilyasova, Joffrey Lauvergne, and Josh Huestis all played 20+ minutes. The extra play time now could benefit the team later as Coach Billy Donovan is working to try out different lineups.
Memphis Comes to Town on Thursday
The Thunder host the Memphis Grizzlies in Tulsa on Thursday. The game will not be on TV, but it will be streamed on the Thunder’s website, as well as on the Thunder Mobile App. Tipoff is at 7 PM CST.
Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter.