The Thunder were in New Orleans Wednesday night to take on the Pelicans. The result was a back and forth battle with tons of scoring. The Thunder simply couldn’t keep up with the offense of the Pelicans, as Anthony Davis led New Orleans to the win.
The Thunder started this game off with a few turnovers, which really set the pace for the majority of the first quarter. Oklahoma City was able to limit the turnovers for the second half of the quarter. This gave the offense more success in a quarter where everyone was contributing. The Thunder trailed for most of the twelve minutes before taking a small lead at the end.
Steven Adams was pretty much the Thunder’s hero on offense in the first half. He had a great half with twelve points. The second quarter went back and forth until the end when New Orleans took the lead. The Pelicans had a 24-17 rebound advantage, and had 4 more points in the paint than the Thunder.
The third quarter was very close, much like the entire game. The Pelicans took a four point lead at one point, but it seemed like much more than that. Halfway through the third, there was already seventeen lead changes during the game. Oklahoma City was giving up way too many points in the paint, and getting dominated on the boards. The Pelicans took a small lead into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was actually the tightest of them all. OKC actually won the quarter 30-29, but the deficit in the third quarter was too much to overcome. The Thunder Player excellent defense down the stretch, but Anthony Davis was essentially unstoppable tonight. In the end, OKC had a chance to win with an Alex Abrines three, but the shot did not fall. The Pelicans took this one 118-114.
Thunder Player Of The Game
Dennis Schröder has had a few great games lately. Tonight, he was able to get the offense going for OKC when no one else could. The energy that Schröder brings off the bench is unmatched. Not to mention his talent level. The Thunder essentially has a starting point guard coming off the bench. He recorded 24 points, 4 assists, and three rebounds tonight. Schröder will help OKC win a ton of games this season.
A Couple Thoughts
• Steven Adams Is Dominating.
We here at Heartland Sports have been saying for awhile now that the Thunder needs to focus more on the offensive abilities of Steven Adams. Adams is a very efficient player around the rim.
Tonight, Adams had 20 points on 7-9 shooting. Adams is a for sure basket, and opens up so much space on the floor. Having a guy like Steven in the paint creates so much opportunities for your offense. It will be important for the Thunder to keep using Adams moving forward.
• OKC Is Lucky To Have Dennis Schröder.
Dennis Schröder has had an amazing season with the Thunder. He has been the reason for several victories this season. As I said earlier, the energy he brings takes this second unit to the next level. Schröder would be a starting point guard for over half the teams in this league.
Schröder clearly has the ability to carry a big load for this team. I’d like to see OKC embrace that and run with Dennis more often. Even though the Thunder lost tonight, they had a chance to win only because of the efforts of Schröder throughout this game.
Mile High City
The Thunder will now head to Denver to play the Nuggets on Friday night. The game will tip-off at 9:00 PM CST. It will be televised on ESPN and FSOK, and broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
This matchup is interesting in many different ways. The most obvious is the altitude. It will surely effect the Thunder players, which could cause some trouble late in the game. It will be important for OKC to jump out early in order to give guys the rest needed to maintain their energy late in the game.