Oklahoma City – The Thunder welcomed the Nuggets into Paycom Center for a night before Thanksgiving Day game and looked to get back in the win column after a couple of lack luster defensive nights lately.
Their defense has been the talk of the town lately because they’ve given up more than 110 in 8 straight games and they know that they’re better than that but it hasn’t shown at all. The players and coaches acknowledged the fact that they needed to play better on the defensive end and said they would against the Nuggets.
That didn’t happen to start the game.
It was the same lack luster defensive performance to start the game and the Nuggets got whatever they wanted en route to a 38 point quarter. The problem against the Nuggets though is their offense didn’t show up to start the game so it got ugly very quick and the Nuggets jumped out to a 19 point lead in the first and second quarters.
Then the Thunder remembered how to play offense and a little defense which allowed them to make it game before the first half was up but they still needed to play some kind of defense if they were going to win the game. Although they still gave up 31 in the second, they scored 42 and finished the half really well and it carried over into the start of the third quarter which sparked a phenomenal quarter on both ends of the floor.
The Thunder came into the half with some new intensity and took full control of the game. Went from down 19 to up 13 to start the 4th. However, it was still a game and the Thunder couldn’t execute down the stretch and we went to OT where the Nuggets had full control of the game and that was enough to win them the game 131-126.
Here are the reasons for the Thunder loss:
So..Are the Thunder Just Not Going To Play Any Defense?
There aren’t three reasons tonight because the only reason they lost this game is because of their piss poor defense. Plain and simple.
Their offense was great once again tonight. They got a great spark and some great contributions off the bench. Their star, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, was a star. The starters were very solid. But the defense was bad.
This is the 9th straight game giving up 110 or more and the 6th straight game giving up 120 or more. It has been absolutely atrocious. Whatever the issue is they need to get it figured out.
They have scored enough points to win the last 9 games and could have easily been on a 9 game win streak but they haven’t played any kind of defense. They have been giving effort so that is a positive but that isn’t enough right now. They have the talent and ability to be a great defensive team and we’ve seen it before so they just need to get back to it.
The Thunder were lead by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who had another 30 point game and added 11 assists and 7 rebounds to go with it. They got some really good performances from Isaiah Joe who had a career high 21 points and 7 3s, Lu Dort who had 18 points and 7 rebounds, Josh Giddey who had 12 points and 6 rebounds, Jalen Williams who tied his career high with 16 points, and Aleksej Pokusevski who returned to the lineup and had 13 points and 3 blocks.
They will look to end their three game losing streak and get back in the win column Friday night when they welcome the Bulls for the first time this season.