Oklahoma City Thunder

OKC Goes 0-2 On Road Trip With Loss To Denver On Friday Night

Craig Hofeld


Rapid Recap

The Thunder jumped out to a quick lead early on, but it didn’t last very long. The Nuggets were simply hitting everything. Denver went 6-6 from beyond the arc, and 11-17 shooting overall in the quarter. They weren’t playing horrible, Denver was just playing extremely well. Even with the great shooting of the Nuggets, they only led by 7 points at the end of the first quarter.

The Nuggets hot streak from beyond the arc came to an end in the second quarter, as they went 2-9. However, their overall shooting stayed solid at 53%. The poor shooting from three for Denver should’ve allowed OKC to cut into the lead, but the Thunder couldn’t take advantage. Oklahoma City had their own struggles going 9-24 for the quarter, which actually allowed the Nuggets to increase their lead. They led 60-52 at halftime.

Denver continued to shoot the deep ball in the third quarter, with little to no success. After the 6-6 start, they were 4-20 through three quarters. The biggest story in this quarter was free throws. The Thunder had several opportunities at the line and couldn’t convert. After the third, Denver was 11-11 from the line, and OKC was 12-21. The Nuggets held an 82-76 lead going into the the final quarter.

The Thunder went on a 7-0 run to cut into the Nuggets lead in the fourth quarter. However, Denver responded with 4 straight points. Anytime the Thunder could cut into the lead, the Nuggets had an answer. In the end, the Thunder couldn’t get enough stops and couldn’t convert on offense. Denver ran away with this one 109-98.

A Couple Of Thoughts

• Offense Has To Be Better, No Excuses.

The Thunder hands down has the best defense in the league. Even with the great defense, teams are still going to score more than 100 points. The Thunder has to find a way to put more points on the board.

Three point shooting is awful, free throws are bad, and this team missed some layups tonight as well. As a team, they shot 41.1% in this game. That’s not good enough to win games in the NBA. When you have a roster with Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Steven Adams, your offense should be better than 17th in the league.

• Need More From The Bench

The Thunder only had 14 points off of the bench tonight. To make things worse, Denver had nearly 30 points from their bench. Dennis Schröder contributed 11 of the 14 bench points, leaving only 3 points for Patrick Patterson.

To win games in this league, you have to have more than two guys score points off of your bench. This is not to discredit the bench of OKC for the entire season, as they’ve played well in many games. What the Thunder Need is consistency from their bench.

Thunder Player Of The Game

Paul George did not have the best first half, but he definitely turned up the heat in the second half. George was the only reason the Thunder ever had a chance in this game. He shot 50% from the field for 32 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists.

There’s not a lot of guys in this league that can get going like George. When he heats up, it’s fun to watch! Paul George has been huge for OKC this season, and they’ll need more performances like this throughout the season.

We also have to mention Steven Adams in this one. Adams had a huge night with 26 points and 14 rebounds. He continues to be a rock for this offense. When you need a basket, Adams is almost a guaranteed make.

Back To Back

The Thunder will be back in action Saturday night as they take on the Clippers in the Chesapeake Energy Arena. The game will tip-off at 8:00 PM CST. It will be televised on FSOK and broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.

It’s going to be interesting to see if the thunder can come out with some energy playing their second game in a row. The Thunder will have to do a great job at guarding Tobias Harris and Danilo Gallinari. We should have a great game to watch on Saturday night.

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