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Oklahoma City Thunder

Defense Leads The Way in Thunder Victory Against The Hawks

Craig Hofeld

bustersbest09

Game #21 - Hawks - Recap Stats.png

The Thunder might have started this game playing down to the level of their opponent, but they soon turned things around and dominated this game. OKC essentially led the entire time. After struggling on offense, the Thunder looked to defense to find success.

Rapid Recap

Oklahoma City started off the game with a couple of threes, including one from Alex Abrines who has struggled to find his shot lately. The success on offense quickly faded, but the Thunder’s defense held strong. The Thunder took a two point lead into second quarter after an ugly performance in the first.

The Thunder kept up the pace on defense in the second quarter. This inevitably led to success on the offensive side of the ball. Patrick Patterson gave the offense a spark with a shot from beyond the arc, which led to a flurry of deep balls from both Russell Westbrook and Paul George. The Thunder went on a 26-8 run to hold a 66-46 lead at halftime.

Atlanta opened up the half with a ton of energy, and it took OKC a little while to catch up. During this time, the Hawks made a run and brought the game within 10 points. However, the Thunder responded well by knocking down some shots of their own. OKC also picked up the pace on defense which took away the easy baskets for Atlanta. The Thunder held a 15 point lead after three quarters.

Alex Abrines played a solid game tonight, and he helped OKC keep things going in the fourth quarter. Abrines finished the night with 21 points on 7-11 from downtown. The Hawks attempted to make one more push, but the Thunder quickly responded and shut down the Atlanta offense. Oklahoma City finished with a huge 124-109 victory.

Thunder Player Of The Game

Russell Westbrook has an amazing game for OKC tonight. He got the job done on both sides of the ball. More importantly, he brought an energy tonight that transferred to the rest of his teammates. Russ is the leader of this team, and this team very much goes as Russ goes.

Westbrook finished the night with 23 points, 10 assists, and 9 rebounds. The Brodie once again delivered a complete game for OKC.

3 Quick Thoughts

• This Team Is Fun To Watch! Sit back and enjoy this Thunder basketball! Sure, there’s been some frustrating moments this season, but that’s going to happen in an 82 game season. This team is so much better to watch than a year ago. The Thunder is playing with a purpose right now. They look driven, and they’re on a mission.

• Live Or Die By The Three: The three point shot has very much been a struggle for this team. There have been a few games in which the three ball has led to a victory, but there have been a ton more games where the Thunder have lost by shooting way too many.

OKC finished with a season high 17 three point shots made. As a team they shot 44% from beyond the arc. Let’s hope this team continues to know when, and when not to shoot the deep ball.

• Defense. Defense. Defense. Oklahoma City is the best defensive team in the league. Offense was a struggle in the first quarter, but the defense in the second quarter led to a huge run on offense. Shots aren’t always going to fall, but this team always has the ability to play defense. The Thunder is talented enough on defense to win games without a great night on offense. This win is just another example of how important defense is to this team.

Back on the Road

The Thunder will be back on the road Monday night against the Detroit Pistons. The game will take place at 6:00 PM CST, and it will be televised on FSOK. It will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.

Be sure to follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook, and don’t forget to check out our latest episode of Thunder Things with the Thunder Guys on YouTube and Facebook. 

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