Thunder Overpowers Wizards to Move to .500 On the Season

Game #8 - Wizards - Recap Stats.png

The Oklahoma City Thunder won their fourth consecutive game in convincing fashion as they dominated the Wizards in Washington 134-111.

Rapid Recap

The Thunder got off to a rocky start in the first quarter as the Wizards jumped out to a 13-3 lead early. Washington maintained the lead for nearly the entire period, but the Thunder was able to tie it up and then take control in the final minute and a half. They didn’t look back from that point.

Thunder big men Jerami Grant and Steven Adams led the way early for Oklahoma City as they scored 10 and eight points respectively to combine on 9/10 from the field. Terrance Ferguson and Russell Westbrook scored six points each in the first, and Westbrook racked up five quick assists as well.

Oklahoma City picked up in the second quarter what they started at the end of the first quarter, and it was at this point that the game started to get ugly. The Thunder continued their 9-0 run from the end of the first and extended it to an 18-2 run through the first two and a half minutes of the second.

The Thunder outscored the Wizards 44-20 in the second as Westbrook continued putting up solid numbers as he brought his totals to 15 points, nine rebounds, and three steals for the first half. Paul George finally got hot as he poured in all nine points of his first half point in the second quarter to go along with his six assists and four rebounds. Grant and Adams brought their scoring totals to 15 apiece before halftime, and the rout was on as Oklahoma City led 79-50 at the break.

With the game clearly in hand, the Thunder could have easily let up and gone complacent in the second half, but they did a solid job of maintaining the giant lead and keeping the pace going. Westbrook, George, and Dennis Schröder each scored eight points in the third quarter, and Westbrook added another three assists to his total. With just one quarter to play, Oklahoma City led Washington 110-85.

It was all backups in the fourth as the game was essentially over, and the young fellas did a good job of finishing out strong. The Thunder finished off the Wizards to move to 4-4 on the season, and now they have a chance to move over .500 for the first time all season.

3 Quick Thoughts

  • Sharing is Caring: The Thunder racked up 34 assists as a team, which ties for the fourth-most all-time for the franchise in a single game. Russell Westbrook led the way with 12, Paul George had seven, Dennis Schröder had five, Jerami Grant had four, Terrance Ferguson and Alex Abrines each had two, and Steven Adams and Patrick Patterson had one each. Coming into the game, Oklahoma City was averaging just over 20 assists per game, which ranked them near the bottom of the league. Tonight’s performance has moved them up to 22nd in the NBA at 22.0 per game. While it is unreal to expect them to repeat this type of performance moving forward, perhaps they will be able to share the ball a lot more effectively in the future.
  • This Bench is Good: Coming into the season, one area of concern was how well the bench would be able to perform, especially with Russell Westbrook and Paul George off the floor. Tonight, the backups put up 48 points while shooting 15-35 (42.9%) from the field. While the shooting percentage isn’t anything to write home about, the fact that the bench was able to continue to pour in the scoring, specifically in the fourth, is encouraging. This team has a lot of young talent that has continued to develop, and if they can keep trending in a positive direction, the Thunder will be a deep squad that will be difficult to challenge.
  • Improvement is Key: After a pretty terrible start to the season, not just from a record perspective but statistically as well, the Thunder has continued to improve over the last four games. Tonight was the best of the four performances as Oklahoma City shot lights out compared recent games, and it is proof that this team is headed in the right direction.

Thunder Player of the Game

Jerami Grant showed up and showed out in front of his hometown crowd as he racked up a career-high 22 points on 9-11 shooting from the floor, including 2-3 from three. He also had four rebounds, four assists, and three steals to round out his performance, and it is safe to say that he is settling in to the starting lineup quite comfortably.

Headed Home

The Thunder now head home where they will play host to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday. The Pelicans started the season 4-0, but they currently sit at 4-4 after Anthony Davis has only been able to play one of the last four games for New Orleans due to injury. Tip-off on Monday is set for 7 PM, and the game will be televised on FSOK. The game will also be broadcast on the radio on WWLS 98.1 FM.

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