The Oklahoma City Thunder came into Friday nights game as healthy as they have been since the start of the year, Aside from the G-League Assignments (Aleksej Pokusevski, Ty Jerome, Josh Hall, and Moses Brown) only George Hill (thumb) and Trevor Ariza (not with the team) showed up on the injury report. After beating the Bucks earlier this week in OKC, the two teams matched up in Milwaukee. The Bucks are now 5-5 in their last ten, while OKC is now 3-7 in their last ten games and on a three-game losing streak following Friday’s loss.
The Thunder simply did not have it on Friday, their offense sputtered the entire night, resulting in the team shooting 36-percent from the field, 30-percent from beyond the arc, and just 52-percent from the line. Yet despite those awful shooting splits for the squad, they still managed to make things interesting in the final quarter before eventually fading.
This game was really decided in the third quarter when OKC only produced 20 points while the Bucks raced out to a 32-point frame. This low-scoring affair, in which OKC lost 98-85, is not common in the modern NBA.
OKC Thunder point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander saw his worst game of the season against the Bucks, which included the ultra-rare inefficient night turning in 25-percent from the floor and only making one shot from within the three-point line. SGA got to the line nine times but shot just 66-percent from the stripe on his way to 14-points. His four turnovers played a big role in this game, but he did dish out five assists and four rebounds. With the NBA All-Star reserves being announced on Tuesday, SGA has two more shots to impress the coaches to pick him as a reserve. Sunday against the Cavs will be a big game for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Isaiah Roby was a bright spot for OKC turning in 10-points on an effective 80-percent shooting from the floor while adding a pair of triples, including a nice step-back 3, to the tune of 66-percent from three-point land. Roby also hauled in seven rebounds and dished out two assists.
Lu Dort continues to turn his 3-point shooting back around, as he saw three trey balls fall good enough for 42-percent shooting from deep in this game. Dort finished with 17-points.
At the end, Giannis Antetokounmpo showed why he is the back-to-back MVP winner, as he served up a 29-point, 19-rebound double-double to drop the Thunder. His night included a steal and three blocks on the defensive end.
For the Thunder, they will try to snap this 3-game skid, which has them with the second-worst record in the Western Conference, and fifth-worst in the NBA, when they meet up with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. Both teams will enter Sunday’s matchup wanting to right their wrongs, as Cleveland is on a nine-game losing streak, the longest such streak in the NBA.