After an inexcusable loss to the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers, the Thunder hit a quick road trip to the arctic north to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves. In a matchup that usually goes down to the last few seconds, the Thunder turned up the momentum in the second half and dominated their way to a 117-104 victory.
The big story of the game was the two massive nights by Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. We’ve grown accustomed to Gallo’s 25 and 30 point games over his 11-year career, but the monumental performance by the 21-year-old, second-year Gilgeous-Alexander caught us by surprise. He finished Monday night’s game with 20 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 assists. Not only was this his first triple-double, but it was also his first time recording more than 10 rebounds in an NBA game.
His trajectory is sky-high and it appears as if he’s indeed the next superstar to come in Oklahoma City.
Shai stole the spotlight for the night but let’s not ignore the fact that Terrance Ferguson and Mike Muscala had impressive games as well. The two who have gotten off to a slow offensive start this season combined for 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting. Not to mention, Dennis Schröder and Steven Adams combined for 27 points.
This game started slowly for OKC as they only led by three at halftime, but thanks to an energized attack out of the locker room, the Thunder enforced their will early in the third and that parlayed into their 23rd win of the season.
In the last three seasons, the Thunder won 47, 48, and 49 games. This year, they’re on track to win 46-47 with the beef of their schedule behind them.
Next up: Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.