The Thunder used a 21-3 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Oklahoma City lambasted the Chicago Bulls in revenge of an earlier meeting. Oklahoma City won 121-96 on Monday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Thunder now move to 19-10 and are only a game and a half behind Denver for the No. 1 seed, and half a game behind the team in the bay. Oklahoma City is trending up, and I suggest buying stock now. They’re playing their best basketball and if their defense keeps up this gnat like intensity, they can beat anyone, especially with numbers 13-0.
It’s only the sixth time this season Oklahoma City has held an opponent under 100 points. It’s the first time since Dec. 3 against Detroit.
With bent knees and relaxed shoulders, Paul George flicks the wrist and rips the cords for his 23rd point of the first half. The smooth and Rhythmic play of PG paired well, yet contrasted the play of his teammates. Aggressive Jerami Grant left hand flushes, thunderous Adams post moves and high flying Diallo told the tale of an overwhelming offensive and suffocating defense that had the game all but decided well before half.
OKC went on a 21-3 run in the first in large part to Paul George going nuclear and they never surrendered the lead once. While the thunder appeared to be a tad bit sloppy coming into the 2nd quarter, off the bench came Schroder to keep pressure on the helpless bulls (without LaVine, Parker, Valentine).
The Bulls played most of the second half without big man Robin Lopez who was ejected after a scuffle with Grant. Although trying to fight a team who has Steven freaking Adams on it is probably not the best business decision a person can make.
PG finished with 24 points (4-of-4 free throws and 4-of-10 from three) and three steals. George played another excellent game in the month of December and truly was not needed in the second have largely in part to his performance in the first. His presence on defense is overwhelming, and causes disruption and congestion that leads to turnovers and fast break points, a Thunder specialty.
“Westbrook” and “triple double” might as well be synonymous with one another as Westbrook notched the 111th of his career, with 13 points, 16 rebounds, 11 assists and five steals. Westbrook normalizing triple doubles has made tonight seem quiet night (lol). With only accounting for 13 points, Russ lit the bulls up with unreal assists, steals, defensive disruption and crowd pleasing slams that kept momentum squarely with the boys in blue.
Adams played a very nice game with 19 points and eight rebounds. He’s also massive, and lopez is lucky he didn’t go Wreck-it-Ralph on him. Also Hamidou Diallo is very good, and he plays for the Thunder, and with OKC playing a style of basketball that is fast paced, loud and aggressive, he fits right in.
There was a scuffle in the third quarter between both teams. Kris Dunn shoved Russell Westbrook and Robin Lopez got into it with Jerami Grant. They were all given technical fouls as a cop out. Here’s a video of the complete altercation:
Here's the entire scuff up. Dunn pushed Russ. Grant and Lopez almost threw down. Lopez beard is weird. pic.twitter.com/8tQVakx3hp
— Oklahoma City Thunder Digest © (@ThunderDigest) December 18, 2018
Oklahoma City will travel to the West Coast to play the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night. The Kings already have two wins over the Thunder. Oklahoma City looks to get one back against the much improved Kings on Wednesday night at 9 p.m. We’ll continue your game coverage here on ThunderDigest.com.
Keys to the Game
Fast break points: A-
The thunder accounted for 27 fast break points off of 25 turnovers and 14 steals. They struck fast and often against the bulls and really left no opportunity for them to stay in the game. When the Thunder play this well on the defensive side AND capitalize on the other end, they are pretty tough to stop.
Free throws: A
OKC was 27-of-33 at the line, pretty good I’d say. They scored 60 points in the paint, and that aggression clearly is paying off with free throws, and tonight they made a lot. The Thunder’s 81.8 percent free throw shooting is the sixth best of the season.
Schroder and Diallo led the bench in points with 18 and 10 respectively. As always, Dennis managed the game very well when he was in. Scoring when he needed to score and orchestrating a tremendous bench effort that didn’t skip a beat when the starters were out. Overall, nice.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!