Oklahoma City Thunder

Early Struggles Lead To Another Loss For The Thunder

Craig Hofeld

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The Oklahoma City Thunder hosted the Miami Heat on Friday night in Oklahoma City for what would be the second of three straight home games. Coming off of the loss to Toronto, OKC was looking to defend their home-court against another talented team from the East.

The Thunder allowed too many points in the first quarter in a loss to the Lakers a few games back, and Friday nights game took a similar path. Oklahoma City allowed the Heat to score 40 points in the first quarter. Kendrick Nunn led the way for Miami with 22 points for the game. But, he wasn’t the only guy getting it done for the Heat. They had nearly 8 guys in double-digit scoring for the night.

As far as the offensive side of the ball goes, the Thunder came on in this one a little bit too late. The Heat ran a zone defense against the Thunder. OKC couldn’t seem to penetrate the zone, which meant they had to knock down shots from the outside. Miami had the perfect game plan with Steven Adams not playing due to a knee injury. When the Thunder did get into the paint, it wasn’t nearly deep enough. The Thunder ended up shooting 44% from the floor, and an impressive 89% from the free throw line.

This one was all about the first quarter. After giving up forty in the opening, OKC did not get outscored for the remaining three quarters. The biggest thing for this Thunder squad right now is to get healthy. That being said, when you are playing without one of the best centers in the NBA, it’s probably best not to go down by double-digits in the first quarter.

Thunder Player Of The Game

Danilo Gallinari has been lighting up the scoreboard recently. Friday night, he recorded 27 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. He shot 7-15 from the floor, but all seven of those makes were from beyond the arc. Gallinari is such a nice offensive weapon to go alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chris Paul. When all three of those guys are having a good night, this team is nearly impossible to beat.

Back To Back

The Thunder will be home again on Saturday night hosting the Portland Trailblazers. It will be interesting to see how the OKC crowd reacts to Melo returning. The game will tip-off at 8:00 PM CST, and it will be televised on FSOK.

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