Oklahoma City Thunder

OKC Thunder | Game #33 Preview: Hawks

Zachary Low

zacharylow88

Tip-Off: 7 PM CT

Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City, OK)

Television: Fox Sports Oklahoma

Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal

Twitter: Follow @ZacharyLowNBA for live-tweets and discussion during the game

The Oklahoma City Thunder entered Wednesday night’s game with the San Antonio Spurs having lost 4 of their last 5, but they were hoping for a win with the Spurs missing a chunk of their roster due to covid-19 protocols.

Both the Thunder and the Spurs held double-digit leads at different points in a very back-and-forth battle, and OKC led by 7 with just a couple of minutes to play. The Spurs powered back, however, and with just 10.7 seconds to go, the score was all tied up at 99-99, and San Antonio had chance to win the game.

After inbounding the ball, the Spurs tried to set up a shot, but point guard Patty Mills turned it over, giving the Thunder 3.9 seconds on the clock with a chance to win the game.

OKC head coach Mark Daigneault called a time out to setup a play, presumably one to put the ball in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s hands. SGA inbounded the ball to Al Horford, but unable to get it back to the inbounder, Horford drove to the rim. A double-team forced him to get rid of it, and whose hands should it fall into but none other than defensive specialist Luguentz Dort, who was wide open in the corner.

With just a few tenths of a second left on the clock, Dort put up a prayer at the buzzer, and the swish of his shot gave OKC the lead and a 102-99 victory and perhaps the best highlight of the season so far.

Now, the Thunder is all set to host the Atlanta Hawks, who are fresh off a 127-112 victory over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday. The Hawks feature a couple of connections with Oklahoma, including former Oklahoma Sooner Trae Young and former Thunder member Danilo Gallinari.

After making moves in the offseason to put them in playoff positioning, the Hawks have struggled so far to a 14-18 record. They have dealt with a number of key injuries, something the Thunder is no stranger to as well. Regardless, tonight’s game should be a fun matchup of squads made up primarily of young talent.

Projected Starters

Thunder

  • PG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
  • SG: Théo Maledon
  • SF: Luguentz Dort
  • PF: Darius Bazley
  • C: Al Horford

Hawks

  • PG: Trae Young
  • SG: Kevin Huerter
  • SF: Tony Snell
  • PF: John Collins
  • C: Clint Capela

Injuries

Thunder

  • Trevor Ariza is OUT (not with team).
  • Moses Brown is OUT (G League; two-way).
  • Hamidou Diallos is OUT (sore right groin).
  • Josh Hall is OUT (G League; two-way).
  • George Hill is OUT (right thumb surgery).
  • Al Horford is OUT (rest).
  • Aleksej Pokusevski is OUT (G League; on assignment).

Hawks

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic is OUT (right knee avulsion fracture).
  • Kris Dunn is OUT (right ankle surgery).
  • De’Andre Hunter is OUT (right knee surgery).
  • Cam Reddish is QUESTIONABLE (sore right achilles).

Head-to-Head

  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 14-8 against the Hawks (8-3 at home, 6-5 on the road).
  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder has won the season series against the Hawks 4 times, lost it twice, and tied 5 times.
  • The Thunder won the season series 1-0- last year (1-0 at home, 0-0 on the road).
  • The Thunder has won 3 consecutive games against the Hawks at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Game Notes

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