Thunder 97 – Nuggets 87 | Rapid Recap

In the preseason finale in Oklahoma City, the Thunder defeated the Denver Nuggets 97-87. The Thunder came out strong scoring at will as they shut down the Denver Nuggets’ efforts to put up points, taking a 59-41 halftime lead. Russell Westbrook sat the entire second half as the Nuggets gave a valiant effort to attempt a comeback, but Oklahoma City held on as the Thunder came away with a victory.

Defense Stands Tall

Perhaps one of the biggest questions for Oklahoma City this preseason has been whether or not the team would be able to play consistent, hard-nosed defense. Tonight, the Thunder did just that, putting together their most impressive defensive showing of the preseason.

In the first half tonight, the Thunder held the Nuggets to 12/45 shooting, allowing only 13 points in the 2nd quarter. Oklahoma City did suffer from an oddly high number of foul calls, as Denver had 23 free throws by halftime, but the Thunder led by 19 at the break and never looked back.

The Thunder struggled a bit in the second half, partially due to a stagnant offense, but they finished strong, nevertheless. Denver shot twice as many free throws as the Thunder on the night, making it to the charity stripe 30 times. The extra opportunities for the Nuggets made no difference, however, as Denver was only able to make 19 of their free throws. Oklahoma City held the Nuggets to 35% shooting from the field and 16% from the three for the game while forcing 16 turnovers.

Thunder Bigs Shine Bright

Right out of the gate, the big men for Oklahoma City came out scoring at will. Steven Adams had an incredible 1st quarter as he scored 11 points on 5/5 shooting. Adams finished the night with 17 points and 9 rebounds as he put on an offensive clinic in the paint.

Enes Kanter finished second on the team in scoring right behind Adams with 15 points. Kanter also added 8 rebounds. Joffrey Lauvergne tallied 9 points and 4 rebounds, and Domantas Sabonis had 6 points and 3 rebounds in limited play for the evening.

Overall, the Thunder bigs looked impressive running pick-and-roll with Russell Westbrook, putting on an impressive display of footwork at times. Steven Adams has continued to improve, and while he landed awkwardly on his previously injured ankle a few times, he ultimately continued to show no signs of it being an issue.

Regular Season Tip-Off is Near

The preseason is over, and the Thunder regular season begins next Wednesday, October 26th, as the Thunder take on the 76ers in Philadelphia at 7 PM CST. The game will be televised on FSOK and ESPN, and it will be broadcast on the radio on WWLS 98.1 FM.

The Thunder’s first regular season home game comes two days later on Friday, October 28th against the Phoenix Suns. Tip-off for that game will also be at 7 PM CST and will be televised on FSOK, as well as broadcast on the radio on WWLS 98.1 FM.

Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter.

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