The Oklahoma City Thunder got their first win of the preseason last night beating the Charlotte Bobcats 120-98 in OKC. James Harden, Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Seoflosha all missed the game again.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook each played 26 minutes in the game. Durant had 13 points and seven assists and Westbrook 11 points and four assists.
Serge Ibaka had 16 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in 28 minutes and again scored a few times from the post which is nice to see from him.
Rookie Perry Jones III was the big story again though for the Thunder. In 30 minutes off the bench, Jones had 17 points, five assists and four rebounds and went 8-of-10 from the field. As you can see from the highlights above, Jones also had three nice dunks including the one where he went off the dribble from the top of the key.
Jones simply has a ton of athleticism like everyone says and moves so well on the floor for his tremendous size. He needs to crack the Thunder rotation either as a backup three or four stealing minutes from Daequan Cook and Cole Aldrich.
Aldrich started again at center but wasn’t as impressive as he had been. After double-doubles in the first two preseason games, he did not score last night in 19 minutes and grabbed only five boards.
DeAndre Liggins started in place of Sefolosha at two guard while Lazar Hayward also did not play. Liggins, who was very impressive in the Thunder’s first preseason game, had five points and six boards in 26 minutes.
Reggie Jackson also missed the game last night and in the meantime, Eric Maynor looked really good once again. Maynor had 10 points, seven assists and five boards while committing just one turnover in 19 minutes. He looks fully back from his injury last year and brings the Thunder something they didn’t have last season in a true, legit point guard.
Andy Rautins actually led the Thunder in scoring in the game with 20 points. He was 7-of-10 from the field and 4-for-7 from deep always shooting the ball with unlimited confidence. Rautins is still a long shot to make the final cut though.
Hasheem Thabeet did not play last night while Daniel Orton got the backup center minutes instead. It was the first look at Orton in the preseason and he was very solid scoring 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting in 19 minutes. Both he and Thabeet are projects but Orton may actually be further along and could contribute sooner. Aldrich pretty much has the backup center role wrapped up now but if the Thunder want a third center on the 12-man roster, it will be interesting to watch the battle between Thabeet and Orton.
The Thunder are now 1-2 in the preseason and will play their next game in Tulsa, Okl. vs. the Phoenix Suns Friday night.