Thunder went into Philadelphia tonight riding a 5 game winning streak, and 9-1 in there last 10 games. On top of that, Philadelphia came into this game trying to avoid a 5 game losing streak – two teams going in completely opposite directions.
The trio of Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Dennis Schröder got off to a hot start, combining for 15 points in the 1st quarter. The game was tied at 31 at the end of the 1st, but a big 2nd quarter by Philadelphia put OKC down by 10 at half. That’s not a situation you want to be in on the road, especially when the team you’re playing is 17-2 at home, and desperate for a win.
With Nerlens Noel being out (left ankle sprain), Steven Adams needed to have a big game, and he did. He actually outplayed Joel Embiid. Adams led the team in scoring, recorded a double-double with 24 points and 15 rebounds, and also held Embiid to 7-17 shooting.
Speaking of Embiid, I forgot to mention his nasty dislocated finger:
Anyways, SGA didn’t play like himself tonight. He finished with 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists, but he missed all three of his shots from downtown, and went 2-5 from the charity stripe. Like Addam mentioned on Twitter, if SGA played his average game, they probably almost win this game by double digits.
Dennis Schröder continued his dominance tonight, recording 21 points off the bench, outscoring all of the starters with an exception to Adams, while tacking on 4 assists and 2 rebounds.
Darius Bazley and Hamidou Diallo combined for 9 points and 5 rebounds on 33% shooting, but they both played some solid defense tonight, and we also had a Mike Muscala sighting tonight with the absence of Noel. He finished with 3 points, 1 rebound, and 1 assist in just 13 minutes.
Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari both tacked on 18 points, but Chris Paul, uncharacteristically, had 4 turnovers. I was waiting for Paul to takeover in the 4th quarter, but we never got it. Gallinari hit a couple threes late to keep them in it, but it wasn’t enough tonight in Philadelphia.
The Thunder cut the lead to 2 points SEVEN times in the 4th quarter. Yet, they didn’t tie the game or take the lead. Tobias Harris hit a three with about a minute left to pretty much seal the deal.
Even though OKC didn’t pull it out, they are 9-2 in their last 11 games, and they have a quick turnaround tomorrow night against the Brooklyn Nets at 6:30 PM CT.