The Oklahoma City Thunder lost a close game to the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night at the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City, OK, as three players scored more than 30 points for just the third time in The Thunder’s franchise history. The Charlotte Hornets rallied behind P.J. Washington’s 22 points in the fourth quarter to defeat Oklahoma City on its historic night by a score of 137-134.
Heading into halftime, the Thunder led the Hornets by 11 points after outscoring Charlotte 45-31 in the second quarter. The Hornets pulled within six points by the end of the third quarter and went on a roll to outscore Oklahoma City 44-35 in the final quarter.
With four seconds left in the game, Josh Giddey went to the free throw line in an attempt to tie the game. Giddey hit the first free throw, but missed the second one, which would have tied the game up at 135-135. With time expiring, Jalen Williams had a clean look from 3-point range but missed in another attempt to tie the game. The Thunder’s star Point Guard, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander did not play in this contest due to a left ankle sprain.
Despite the loss, the Thunder made history as Isaiah Joe dropped 33 points and Jalen Williams and Josh Giddey dropped 31 points each. Those are career highs for each player, and it is the first time that three Thunder players have scored over 30 points since Russell Westbrook, Enes Kanter and Anthony Morrow did back in 2015. In 2012, James Harden, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were the first Thunder trio to ever meet this mark.
Following Tuesday’s loss, the Thunder hosted the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday at the Paycom Center and got a much-needed win as rookie guard, Williams had a put back basket on the final offensive possession of the game to give the Thunder the edge, 107-106.
Williams had a huge impact on this game, shooting an efficient 11 of 19 from the field and scoring 27 points with six rebounds and eight assists in the absence of Shai. Luguentz Dort added 20 points and three steals and Aaron Wiggins contributed 19 points off the bench for Oklahoma City.
However, the Pistons did not make it easy for The Thunder. The two teams went back and forth the entire game. Piston’s rookie guard, Jaden Ivey finished with 24 points and Detroit shot the ball at an impressive 48.5 percent from beyond the arc. The Pistons back-up point guard, Cory Joseph hit a three pointer to put them up by one before Williams tipped in a shot off of a miss from Giddey for the win.
“We’re not perfect but these guys do a great job of refocusing and getting the car back on the road and I thought they did a great job of that tonight”, said Thunder head coach, Mark Daigneault.
Oklahoma City is currently the 10-seed in the Western Conference standings and will look to keep their playoffs hope alive as they travel to Indiana to face off against the Pacers on Friday.