The Oklahoma City Thunder fell to 3-3 in the preseason losing last night 94-89 on the road to the Chicago Bulls.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook did not play in the game. James Harden and Eric Maynor started in place of them.
Harden had a pretty dreadful night. He shot 2-of-17 from the field and 0-for-4 from three in 38 minutes. He finished with 13 points, seven assists and seven rebounds and went 9-of-12 from the free throw line.
The rhythm simply isn’t there for Harden right now. He seems to never perform well starting either but this has been a trend all preseason so far. Harden is shooting around 20 percent from the field in the preseason which is as big of a slump as ever for him.
Serge Ibaka on the other hand continues to look like a new man in the preseason. Ibaka had 24 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in the game and went 1-of-2 from deep, both corner attempts. Ibaka is shooting that corner three with a lot of confidence of late and it looks like it will become a legit weapon for him this season. Ibaka also went into the post a lot again where he also looks much more comfortable.
Maynor gave us a glimpse of what the Thunder were missing last season without him. He played 32 minutes and had 13 points and two assists. The dimes weren’t as easy to come by without Durant and Westbrook and up against Chicago’s defense but Maynor showed he can score too. Maynor went 3-of-4 from downtown and found his shots in the flow of the offense and without hesitation.
Rookie Perry Jones III led all Thunder bench players with 14 points in 20 minutes. He took 14 shots in that time as he seemed to be really looking to shoot a little more often than he is comfortable. He made a few midrange jumpers and cut to the rim some for a few easy dunks. He looked like a rookie now and then and it may be a little while before he cracks the rotation.
Hasheem Thabeet had his best game of the preseason playing 26 minutes and scoring six points to go with 10 boards without fouling out. Thabeet has that upside that should mean he makes the final cut for the 15-man roster.
The Bulls played their starters a lot in this game and benefited from their offensive system to overcome OKC despite this game lacking some of the intensity we will see in the regular season. Carlos Boozer led the way with 24 points and 12 rebounds while Joakim Noah had 15 points and 10 boards.
The Thunder have one more preseason game left tonight at 8 p.m. EST vs. the Dallas Mavericks.