The Oklahoma City Thunder are back in the winning column after clinching their eighth win of the season defeating the Phoenix Suns 118-101 on Monday night in OKC.
The Thunder, coming off a loss in Dallas, came out firing in the first quarter outscoring the Suns 32-13, and though the Thunder were without Russell Westbrook as he heals from an ankle sprain, players like Paul George, Steven Adams, and Dennis Schröder were electric on the court bringing this Thunder team to lead by more than 30 at one point in the game.
Paul George finished with 32 points, 8rebounds, and 6 assists shooting 11-19 from the field and 6-10 from downtown. He was also one of five Thunder players to have a perfect night from the free throw line finishing 6-6. Steven Adams finished with 18 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks, while Dennis ended the night with 20-5-9, as well as 4 steals.
Thunder defense was able to force 18 turnovers, and free throw shooting showed a dramatic difference at 95 percent. The Thunder had 23 total assists, and the team was able to shake off the loss to the Mavericks in Thunder fashion by coming out dominant on their home court and easing back into their winnings ways.
- Dennis Schröder continues to show he’s able to lead and achieve in the absence of Russell Westbrook. Dennis has such power and drive when he’s on the court, and yes his playing style is similar to Russ’, but he brings something unique to the court, which I think is his chemistry with other Thunder players and the fluidity he plays with.
- Thunder free throw shooting was absolutely exceptional tonight, and it made a difference. Thunder going 19-20 from the foul line was the best this team may do this season, but at least Thunder fans are seeing this kind of improvement early in the season rather than when it’s too late.
- Paul George is stepping up as a playmaker and a leader. This Thunder crowd may never see PG as an equal to Russ and as that second man that leads this team, but Paul has some extreme talent that he showcases in the absence of someone like Russ, and he’s able to show Thunder fans that he’s ready to step up as soon as he’s needed.
Thunder improve to 8-5 in the season, 5-2 on their home court, and will host the New York Knicks on Wednesday night as they hope to continue their winning ways.
Watch below for postgame pressers from Steven Adams, Dennis Schröder, Paul George, and Alex Abrines.