The Oklahoma City Thunder concluded preseason basketball on Tuesday night with a 119-115 overtime win against the Milwaukee Bucks.
The first half of play was the Paul George show. PG had 19 of the Thunder’s 27 points at the end of the first quarter, and he was the only starter to play the full first quarter. George finished the half with 26 points in 19 minutes going 8-13 from the field and 3-5 from 3-point range. He didn’t see any playing time in the second half.
The second half was all about Thunder rookies Hamidou Diallo and Deonte Burton. Diallo made his first start finishing the night with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists, and he was brought back in to play a vital role in the Thunder sealing the win in overtime.
Burton was what I would call the hero of overtime after burying a dunk and knocking down two back-to-back, clutch 3’s the secure the win for the Thunder. Abdul Gaddy was able to hit one of his two free throws pulling the Thunder four points ahead with 2.8 seconds left in overtime, and the Thunder would take the win after Bucks’ SG Jaylen Morris missed a 49-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Dennis Schroder had a bit of a quiet night only playing 17 minutes and having to return to the locker room in the second quarter after taking a fall and a knee to the head. He was slow to get up and was escorted back to the locker room where he remained for the rest of the game. Thunder staff later confirmed he was fine, but would not return to the game.
- Paul George is already looking like mid-season form. He was spectacular on offense tonight, connected well with his teammates, and he fought to get those points tonight. He played with energy, diligence, and he had fire under his feet. He seems a lot more comfortable now that free agency is off the table, and he has noted multiple times his level of comfort in OKC and with the Thunder organization.
- Jerami Grant had a nice offensive night. Grant is someone people are torn about seeing that starting position, but he’s been a great off-the-bench player during preseason, and he finished with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals against Milwaukee.
- Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot needs to gain more confidence on the offensive side of the ball. He is vital on defense and had some great stops tonight, but he needs to gain a better visual for some better shots. He had some great opportunities where he made a dunk and a few 3’s, but he sometimes puts too much force behind his shot. If he’s able to gain more control of his shot, he will be a great asset on the court and be more fluid in the Thunder rotation.
- Hamidou Diallo is quickly becoming someone of interest for Thunder fans. He’s improved tremendously over the course of four preseason games, and he has a lot of energy and chemistry with the Thunder offense. I, personally, am extremely excited to see Hami continue to grow and improve as the season goes on.
Watch below for a postgame wrap-up from game four of preseason, plus Billy Donovan’s full postgame presser.
Billy Donovan FULL postgame presser: