The Oklahoma City Thunder played perhaps their most well-rounded game of the season as six players finished in double-figure scoring, and they defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 118-112.
The Bucks came out with far more energy than the Thunder as OKC fell behind 8-0 early. The Thunder turned it around quickly, though, thanks to a couple of threes from Paul George, and midway through the opening quarter, OKC took the lead at 15-13 off a Terrance Ferguson corner three.
Both teams would battle back and forth for the lead over the next couple of minutes, but the Thunder went on a quick 10-0 run before the Bucks scored 4 straight points to end the quarter with OKC on top 31-25.
The Thunder continued to pour it on in the second quarter as OKC got up by as many as 16 at one point, and perhaps the most impressive part of the first half was the defense holding the Bucks to 42 points. Paul George was on fire from deep for the entire half, and he led all scorers through 2 quarters with 21 points, including 5-9 (55.6%) from 3. At halftime, the Thunder led 56-42.
The Thunder came out with plenty of energy to start the second half, but the Buck were able to cut the deficit to 10 points just a couple of minutes into the period. After some back and forth, OKC pushed the lead to 19 points to make it 79-60 with 4:33 left in the quarter.
The Buck were not out of the game yet, though, and they went to work as they put together a 17-4 run to make it a 6-point game with less than a minute left in the third. At the end of the quarter, OKC led 89-79.
Despite Milwaukee’s best efforts, this game was destined for the Thunder to win. The Bucks were able get within 3 points with a little over a minute left in the game, but Paul George was absolute unstoppable as he led the Thunder with 36 points, 10 of them coming in the final quarter. The win extends the Thunder’s streak to 5 consecutive, and they are looking more and more like one of the league’s top teams.
Thunder Player of the Game
Paul George played an amazing game, but Jerami Grant was a true difference maker, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Grant finished with 16 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds, and 5 blocks. He was tasked with guarding Giannis Antetokounmpo for the majority of the game, and twice he blocked the Greek Freak at the rim. Grant has evolved into an incredible player since arriving in OKC, and tonight, his full spectrum of abilities was on display.
A Couple Quick Thoughts
- Balance Matters: For the 16th time this season, the Thunder had 6 different players in double-digit scoring. That numbers is a franchise record, and there are still 33 games left to be played. OKC has not seen a balance like this in quite some time, and maintaining that balance consistently is going to be key come time for the playoffs.
- Keep Rolling: The Thunder was at a season-low point just a couple of weeks ago as they dropped their 5th game in 6 tries. They looked like they had taken a turn for the worse, and many thought they had more problems than can be fixed. Since then, they have run off 5 consecutive wins, and 3 of them have come against some of the league’s toughest teams. Beating up on weaker opponents is expected, but playing your best basketball against the league’s top teams is a necessity at this point.
Back on the Road
The Thunder is now set to head back out on the road for a 3-game road trip starting in Orlando on Tuesday against the Magic. Tip-off is set for 6 PM CT on Fox Sports Oklahoma, and the game will be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
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