The Oklahoma City Thunder picked up their first preseason win over the Timberwolves on Friday night with a 113-101 final after falling to the Pistons on Wednesday night in OKC.
It was no secret that Russell Westbrook and Andre Roberson would not be playing due to injuries and healing from surgeries, but Paul George surprised Thunder fans when he was absent from Wednesday night’s game for “personal reasons”. George, however, was present tonight in Minnesota and led the Thunder with 23 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Starters for the Thunder:
- Paul George
- Steven Adams
- Terrance Ferguson
- Dennis Schroder
- Patrick Patterson
PG kicked off his preseason debut putting the Thunder on the board first with a 13-foot two pointer, and the Thunder were able to outscore the Timberwolves quarters one through three. The dynamic of the team seemed to be more in-sync with George back on the floor, and the rhythm of PG and Steven helped the Thunder find a quick 11-point lead at the end of the first quarter at 31-20.
Dennis Schroder had more of a quiet night compared to his Thunder debut on Wednesday, but the former Atlanta Hawk ended the night with 12 points, two rebounds and six assists, three of which were to Paul George.
Dennis Schroder wow’d Thunder fans on Wednesday night with his agility, court vision and fluidity with the Thunder offense. He’s proven to be a great backup guard for Russell Westbrook and a beneficial and solid starter while Westbrook heals from his knee surgery.
Steven Adams ended the night with a double-double picking up 14 points, 13 rebounds and one rebound going 7-11 from the field. Adams had multiple under-the-rim opportunities where his power played a major role in maintaining the Thunder’s lead, which the team kept majority of the game.
Nerlens Noel was able to find a better rhythm tonight going 4-5 from the field, snagging nine rebounds, and finishing with 12 points. Noel missed four dunk opportunities in the Thunder’s preseason game against the Pistons on Wednesday, but after one game in the Thunder blue in his pocket, Noel was able to find his role on the court a little better tonight. He was able to make four blocks and was key to the Thunder defense in the 21 minutes he was on the court.
Other notable Thunder stats:
Jerami Grant: 12 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist – 23 minutes
Alex Abrines: 10 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist – 15 minutes
Raymond Felton: 8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists – 14 minutes
Hamidou Diallo: 8 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals – 23 minutes
Terrance Ferguson: 6 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists – 27 minutes
Karl Anthony-Towns led the Timberwolves in scoring finishing the night with 23 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 29 minutes, and Jeff Teague followed with 17 points, four rebounds and four assists.
The Thunder will be in Tulsa at the BOK Center on Sunday to take on former Oklahoma Sooner Tre Young and the Atlanta Hawks for game three of preseason basketball. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m., and The Franchise will have you covered from pregame to postgame.