Luguentz Dort hit a 3 less than a minute into the game on Thursday night to open up the scoring for the Oklahoma City Thunder, giving OKC a 3-2 lead over the Atlanta Hawks, but it was all Atlanta the rest of the way.
Despite knocking down 13-of-33 (39.4%) from downtown, the Thunder could not buy a bucket in the paint for most of the night, sinking just 21-of-57 (36.9%) two-point attempts. As a result, OKC managed just 40 points in the paint, and that won’t cut it when you manage just 16 free throw attempts.
The Hawks led by as many as 17 in the first quarter, and despite the Thunder’s best efforts, they never even got to within single digits as Atlanta led by as many as 27 before finishing the game on top 116-93.
The game wasn’t all bad. After a rough first half—4 points on just 1-of-9 (20.0%) shooting from the floor—Shai Gilgeous-Alexander put together quite an impressive second half. In the third quarter alone, Shai scored 15 points as he missed just 1 of his 8 field goal attempts.
Shai played just 95 seconds in the fourth quarter, finishing the game with 19 points on 8-of-18 (44.4%) from the field. He also had 4 assists and 3 rebounds, so all in all, it was a pretty quiet night from the young star, but it was good to see him play his final minutes of the night at the top of his game.
Ty Jerome is a Sniper
Another bright spot on the night was a career-performance by Ty Jerome. Taking advantage of the extra minutes, Jerome racked up a career-high 18 points as he knocked down a career-high 6 threes.
Jerome has worked his way into the rotation due the extended injuries of his teammates, and he’s made good use of his time by proving that he’s quite the sharpshooter. If he continues to knock down threes at this rate, it’s almost certain that he will manage to find a few minutes of play time here and there.
Another One on the Road
The Thunder gets a couple of days off during the 4-game road trip as they head to Houston where they will face the Rockets. The Rockets are losers of 18 straight, but they host the Detroit Pistons on Friday, so perhaps they can break their losing streak before they take on Oklahoma City on Sunday.
Tip-off is scheduled for 1 PM, and the game will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma. It will also be broadcast on the radio on WWLS 98.1 FM.