It’s Good Friday, but there wasn’t much “good” about an overtime loss to the Denver Nuggets as the Oklahoma City Thunder picked up a third consecutive loss and fell to the Nuggets 126-125 on Friday night inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Thunder had a shaky first three quarters, but it was all about the Thunder bench in the fourth with players like Jerami Grant and Raymond Felton helping OKC go on a 20-5 run and bring life back to Chesapeake.
Jerami Grant was excellent scoring 16 points and hitting 2-3 from 3-point range. Billy Donovan stated in his postgame presser the decision was made to keep Grant in the game rather than his initial plan to substitute Carmelo Anthony in to finish out regulation because of Grant’s high energy and precise performance.
“Jerami absorbed a lot of minutes,” Donovan said. “He got in there early for Steven in that third quarter and played all the way to the end. I probably extended his minutes too long to be honest with you, but Jerami did a good job and played well, so we just stuck with him.”
The Thunder were able to break the franchise record tonight for most 3’s scored in a single game at 20 total, but even with Alex Abrines sinking his second 3-pointer of the night with 0.1 left in overtime, it wasn’t enough for the Thunder, and the Nuggets walked away with the win.
Russell Westbrook, being only one rebound away from picking up triple-double No. 103, recorded 33 points, 9 rebounds and 13 assists to end the night. Carmelo Anthony pitched in with 23 points and 6 rebounds, and Paul George ended with 13-6-4 picking up four steals as well.
The Thunder are now 44-33 in the regular season, 26-13 on their home court, and the race to clinch a spot in the NBA playoffs gets more competitive by the day. The Thunder slide back to No. 6 in the Western Conference behind the Timberwolves and the Spurs.
The Thunder will be in New Orleans Sunday night for a battle against the Pelicans and high hopes of sealing their spot in the playoffs. Kevin Durant and the short-handed Warriors come to OKC on Tuesday to take on the Thunder as the race to be the best in the nation continues.
Watch here to see what Billy Donovan, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Jerami Grant had to say about tonight’s loss to the Nuggets in Oklahoma City: