Al’s Five Facts: Thunder edge 76ers after one overtime

Last night, the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Philadelphia 76ers after one overtime, 127-119 the final score.

Here are the five facts about last night’s win against Philadelphia:

TOGETHER

This is an incredible win for the Thunder. They defeated one of the best teams in the NBA, and they did it by fighting on every possession, and by never giving up, even when the 76ers were going away in the 3rd quarter. The team played together, they fought together on both ends of the floor, and it was incredibly fun to watch. OKC has no expectations this season, so it’s easier to play with a relaxed mindset, but these are the type of games that can make this season exciting, especially for the fans.

GALLO IS FUN

Yesterday, Gallinari was on a mission, and he played an extraordinary game. The Italian power forward finished the game with twenty-eight points (7-11 FG, 3-5 3PT, 11-11 FT), seven rebounds, two assists, three turnovers. Gallo can score in any possible way, and yesterday showed it once more. It’s also impressive his ability to score from behind the arc (43% so far this season) and from the free-throw line (93.8%). It is a long time since the Thunder had a player so efficient in both these fields.

CP3’S BEST GAME

Without a doubt, this was Chris Paul’s best game in a Thunder jersey. Paul finished the game with twenty-seven points (7-13 FG, 1-3 3PT, 12-12 FT), eight rebounds, five assists, and zero turnovers. A leader performance for the veteran point guard.
CP3 is getting more used to the Thunder’s offense. In November, he is averaging almost three more points per game compared to October. However, the best improvement is in the assists/turnovers/steals area: Paul is averaging 6.7 assists (3.6 in October), 1.9 turnovers (3.2 in October), and 2.0 steals (1.2 in October).

ADAMS & NOEL

I love how these two players complete each other. They play a different style of basketball, while Adams is a better team defensive player, Noel is better at protecting the rim, Adams can set better screens, but Noel can hit mid-range jumpers, Adams is a better passer, Noel is good at steals, and so on. Billy Donovan can choose who to play based on matchups, and it is a luxury, for a team like the Thunder, to have a player like Noel willing to come out from the bench.

TOUGH SCHEDULE

The Thunder will play four of the next five games on the road, and the opponents are far from easy ones, except maybe for the Warriors. The Thunder will face the Clippers and the Lakers on back to back nights, then home against the Lakers again, then Warriors, and then in Portland against the Blazers. OKC hasn’t won a game yet on the road (0-4 so far), and this stretch seems like a hard one to get the first road win. The record could easily go from 5-7 to 5-12 in two weeks, or maybe, the Thunder will surprise everyone once again.

 

Alberto Bodei

Twitter: @euro_thunder

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