Thunder Come Back to Win Behind Abrines’ 25 Points

Game #7 - Hornets - Recap Stats

The Thunder took their two-game win streak to Charlotte to take on the Hornets on Thursday night. The Thunder was able to craw themselves back into the game after being down by as many as 19 points in the third quarter in their first road win of the season. Three different players scored 25+ points for OKC in a four-point victory beating the Hornets 111-107.

Rapid Recap

The Thunder led by two after the first quarter behind eight points from Westbrook to set the tempo of the game. OKC had only four assists at halftime, shooting 1-19 beyond the arc. Alex Abrines made the only three for the Thunder at the end of the first to put OKC up by two. OKC shot only 33% in the first half, and both teams combined 5-35 from three.

Abrines’ offensive presence was the only similar trend in the second half as the Thunder flipped a switch of intensity on both sides of the floor. OKC finished with 67 total points in the second half, gathering 16 assists with only four turnovers. In the 3rd quarter, Abrines was remarkable. He is slowly gaining respect from opposing teams as a threat beyond the arc, opening lanes and creating space for Westbrook and Schröder to drive to the basket.

Paul George had a tough night shooting the ball, missing all 10 of his three-point attempts and finishing only 4-20 from the field. He scored six points in the first quarter, but he wasn’t much of an offensive presence the rest of the game. His defensive efforts in the fourth quarter were significant in the late run by OKC down the stretch to hold off one of the best offensive teams in the league. 

Russell Westbrook gathered his 5,000th rebound in the middle of the fourth quarter, and he nearly finished with a triple-double (29pts,8rbs,10ast). Once he came into the game with 9 minutes left in the fourth, he took the challenge being down three, and he put the team on his back to put this game away. He was the hot hand in the fourth, knocking down three jumpers in a row and finishing strong at the rim. This was by far the most impressive win for the Thunder this season as they continue to put all the pieces together and remain consistent. The Thunder’s three-game win streak moves them to 3-4 on the season.

Thunder Player of the Game

Alex Abrines was the offense for the Thunder tonight, and he receives my player of the game. He finished with 25 points, marking his career high, and he tallied 15 of them in the third quarter. After the game he said “If we play like we did in the last 20 minutes of this game, we are a very good team.” The Thunder appeared to clean up their act in the second half in wake of Abrines’ barrage of threes. He looked confident in his three-point shooting, finishing 5-10 from deep, and he was a huge force on offense. Consistency from Abrines beyond the arc will take the Thunder far in the stacked Western Conference. 

3 Quick Thoughts

  • Tony Parker’s Still Got It | The veteran point guard played his first game against the Thunder in a Charlotte uniform. In his 17th season, he showed he is still an offensive force to be reckoned with. He turned back the clock several times in this game with his finishes at the rim, and he kept Charolette in the game down the stretch before Westbrook took over. 
  • Abrines: Difference Maker For This Team | If the Thunder can figure out their outside shooting issues sooner rather than later, they will most certainly be a top-three seed come December after their shaky 0-4 start. Alex Abrines was on fire in this one with his efficiency off the bench. If both Abrines and Jerami Grant can continue to stay hot from deep, watch out for this offense.
  • Dennis Schröder was a great pick-up | Seven games into the season, it is fair to say Dennis Schröder has been the point guard off the bench Thunder fans have been wanting to see. His efficiency on offense and his intensity on defense fit terrifically with the identity of this team. The chemistry between both Schröder and Jerami Grant continues to grow, and have led to several highlight real plays on the pick and roll offense.

Next Game

The Thunder will look to continue their winning streak tomorrow against the Wizards in Washington. OKC can get to .500 with a win on Friday night, as tip-off will be at 7:00pm CST. The game is nationally televised on ESPN as well as on FSOK and on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.

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