April 23, 2024

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Oklahoma City Thunder demolish Washington Wizards, 147-106

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LOPSIDED WIN. The Oklahoma City Thunder crush the Washington Wishards, 147-106, posting their highest point total of the season on Friday night (Saturday, February 24, in the Philippines). OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER PHOTO

The Oklahoma City Thunder electrified their home crowd with a commanding 147-106 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night (Saturday, February 24, in the Philippines), posting their highest point total of the season. 

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the charge with a stellar 30-point performance, while Chet Holmgren added 25 points and 10 rebounds in an outstanding display of offensive firepower.

The win propelled the Thunder into a tie atop the Western Conference standings with the Minnesota Timberwolves, both teams holding a 39-17 record. 

The Timberwolves suffered a 112-107 home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on the same night, allowing the Thunder to seize a share of the conference lead.

Oklahoma City’s offensive efficiency was on full display, shooting an impressive 59.8% from the field and an astonishing 50% from beyond the arc, making 20 of their 40 attempts. 

The Thunder’s stellar shooting performance fueled their highest point total of the season, surpassing their previous mark of 140 points in a win over the San Antonio Spurs on January 24.

The Thunder dominated from the opening tip, establishing an 80-57 lead by halftime and extending it to 117-81 after three quarters. The organization celebrated Thunder Legacy Weekend by recognizing 10 former players, adding to the festive atmosphere in the arena.

Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault emphasized the team’s focus on generating open shots and rhythm opportunities. He said they wanted to be a team that generates rhythm shots and open shots. 

Jordan Poole provided a bright spot for the struggling Wizards with 21 points off the bench, while Corey Kispert contributed 20 points. However, the Wizards, who have now lost 10 straight games, were unable to contain the Thunder’s offensive onslaught.

Washington coach Brian Keef acknowledged the challenges his team faced, particularly in finishing quarters. 

The Thunder’s offensive showcase included a dominant first half where Gilgeous-Alexander and Holmgren combined for 39 points on an impressive 16-for-21 shooting. The lead ballooned to 39 points in the fourth quarter, allowing Coach Daigneault to empty his bench and give younger players valuable minutes.

The Wizards’ struggles continued after a 130-110 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night, marking the second game of a back-to-back for both teams. 

As the Thunder look ahead, they will face the Indiana Pacers on Monday night, aiming to build on their recent success. 

The Wizards, on the other hand, will regroup and prepare to host the Orlando Magic on Sunday in hopes of snapping their losing streak.

Oklahoma City Thunder players celebrate their rousing victory. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER PHOTO

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