The Oklahoma City Thunder held a 19-game winning streak against the Philadelphia 76ers entering tonight’s matchup, but the streak did not hold as the 76ers took control early and never relinquished. The Thunder fought back, and even tied it up late in the 4th quarter, but in the end Philadelphia came out on top 108-104.
The Thunder was without Paul George tonight, which means Markieff Morris started in his place. Although Markieff played well, the Thunder definitely missed Paul George. George’s absence was most noticeable on the defensive side of the ball. The 76ers hit 9 out of their first 11 shots. After their impressive first quarter shooting, Philadelphia led 37-26 after the first twelve minutes.
After shooting 55% in the first quarter, it seemed like Philly had to start missing some shots. However, the 76ers actually increased their shooting percentage while the Thunder’s dropped to 33.3%. Its kind of hard to win a basketball game when the opposing team is nearly making twice the amount of shots. Despite missing Joel Imbiid, the 76ers still outscored Oklahoma City 26-12 in the paint during the first half. The Sixers led 60-49 at halftime.
The Thunder obviously played from behind for a majority of the second half. It was a game of runs for each team. The Thunder actually cut it to two points, but then the Sixers went on a 7-0 run. Every time the Thunder got close, Philly had an answer. Adams was essentially non existent in this game, which is a huge disappointment considering OKC should’ve had the advantage down low without Imbiid in the game. The Thunder did manage to cut into the lead a bit with the score being 86-79 in the Sixers advantage after three quarters.
The final quarter seemed like a collection of the previous two games for the Thunder. Each time Oklahoma City caught up, Philly was right there. Markieff Morris and Russell Westbrook were leading the way in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Jimmy Butler and the rest of the Sixers. Despite making multiple comebacks, the Thunder lost their third straight game.
Thunder Player of the Game
Jerami Grant was one of the bright spots of the night as he played one of his best games of the season. Grant finished with 23 points on 10-17 (58.8%) from the field, including 2-5 (40.0%) from 3, and 6 rebounds. Grant played with a lot of energy when much of the team did not, and he was able to score in a number of ways. His growth this season has been a huge part of the Thunder’s success, and despite the loss, he was essential to the Thunder even standing a chance in the game tonight.
Short Trip to San Antonio
The Thunder is now headed out on the road for a quick game in San Antonio against the Spurs on Saturday before heading back home for the second game of a back-to-back on Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Thunder and the Spurs have placed twice this season so far with each team picking up a win at home. Saturday’s game will tip off at 7:30 PM and will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma. The game will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
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