Thunder Rookies shine again in narrow loss to Spurs
The Thunder arrived just before Wednesday night, falling to San Antonio at home 114-106.
Oklahoma City were able to stay in the competition with a strong all-around offense, but goal droughts combined with a hot second quarter for Spurs were too much to overcome.
The Thunder gave up 39 points in the second frame alone, putting OKC down 15 points at halftime.
At the start of the fourth trimester, Josh Giddey drilled a 3-pointer to bring the Thunder within six points, 89-83, but it was OKC closest to victory.
Jakob Poeltl was once again a thorn in the Thunder’s side, posting 20 points and 17 rebounds. The Thunder had no answer for him defensively or on the glass.
Here’s who paved the way for the Thunder:
The 19-year-old recorded his third consecutive triple-double on Wednesday. Giddey is now the youngest, second-youngest, and third-youngest player in NBA history to have a hat-trick.
Giddey continued to score at a high level, registering 17 points against Spurs. He paired that with 10 rebounds and 10 assists. The rookie only made one turnover in the evening.
Giddey led the offense with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander still out and it worked well for this young Thunder team.
For the second game in a row, Mann was OKC’s main source of offense. On Wednesday night, he was effective 10-20 from the floor with 24 points.
Mann scored many of his points in isolation situations, as Oklahoma City relied on him to get a bucket multiple times in the stretch. His step back continues to look strong because he creates so much space and is able to know the shot.
The Florida product is proving to be a fantastic 3-point shooter, going 3-for-7 tonight. His play lately is a super encouraging sign for the Thunder.
After a stint in the G League, Maledon finally looks like he belongs with the Thunder. I’m sure that’s how many Thunder fans imagined him playing at the start of the season after a full offseason.
While struggling to start the year, Maledon has now scored 18 or more points in two of the last four games. On Wednesday night, Maledon scored 22 points and three rebounds as the guard looked very comfortable.
If Maledon can provide solid help off the bench, he can lock in the backup playmaker spot. With Ty Jerome our, there are minutes to go around.
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