The Oklahoma City Thunder came into tonight’s game against the Detroit Pistons looking to add on to their 3-game winning streak. Just one night after the trade deadline, with the team still intact, many fans were excited to come out and see some players that they thought might be gone.
Detroit came into the game a little short-handed, missing their star center Andre Drummond, who was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers yesterday. The Thunder just barely avoided playing Drummond. They played the Cavaliers on Monday, just a day before he was traded there.
At the end of the first quarter, the Thunder led the Pistons 29-24. Dennis Schröder came off the bench midway through the quarter, and led the way with 9 points (4-of-4 FGs). He finished the game with 18 points, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds.
Chris Paul played at an all-star level tonight, but did you expect anything different? He led the team in scoring with 22 points, and also finished with 7 assists and 6 rebounds. He took over the game when needed, and tonight shows why he was deserving of that all-star selection.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander played one of his most efficient games in a while. He was his usually self, made some scoop shots at the rim, and he tacked on 21 points (7-of-13 FGs), along with 2 rebounds, and 1 assist.
After rumors swirling of Danilo Gallinari possibly being traded yesterday, believe it or not, he is still with the Thunder, and he made his presence known tonight, finishing the game with a near double-double, 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists.
The two centers, Steven Adams and Nerlens Noel, dominated the game tonight, which was expected because of the absence of Drummond. They combined for 23 points, 14 rebounds, and 4 assists. The Pistons really had no inside presence, so a big game by these two was expected.
The whole situation between Lu Dort and Terrance Ferguson is a little strange now that Ferguson is back. Dort has started in his place ever since Ferguson was gone for personal reasons, and Donovan has continued to keep him in the starting lineup even since Ferguson returned. They only combined for 3 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists, but they both kind of play a crucial defensive role for this team, and it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.
In 16 minutes, Darius Bazley only had 2 points and 3 rebounds. However, he only took one shot and played pretty solid defense. I get more excited about Bazley after each game.
Ultimately, the Thunder were just too much for the short-handed Pistons. The Pistons kept it a game for most of the way, but the Thunder pulled away in the 4th quarter.
The Thunder have now won four games in a row, and they will look to make it five on Sunday afternoon against the Boston Celtics, at home.
Good story, Tanner!