OKC Thunder pull off OT thriller over Nets – player grades

JANUARY 7: Chris Paul #3 of the OKC Thunder handles the ball against the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
JANUARY 7: Chris Paul #3 of the OKC Thunder handles the ball against the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
JANUARY 7: Taurean Prince #2 of the Brooklyn Nets shoots the ball against the OKC Thunder (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Best OKC Thunder Reserve:

PG. Oklahoma City Thunder. DENNIS SCHRODER. B-.

It wasn’t a banner night for the bench in this outing and Dennis Schroder gets the nod by virtue of posting the most points (14) though it took 16 shot attempts to reach that mark.

None of the reserves were overly successful on this night which perhaps was a result of inconsistent minutes in previous games. Abdel Nader has barely been dusted off in recent outings after playing well while Hamidou Diallo was out. Likewise, the loss of Nerlens Noel to a sprained ankle and the promotion of Bazley to the starting unit might be throwing off the rhythm of the second unit.

Aside from the Allen murder of Muscala at the rim, he did manage to grab eight rebounds and score six points but the man Sam Presti brought in to hit from deep was held scoreless from the perimeter missing all five of his attempts.

Best Opponent:

Brooklyn Nets. TAUREAN PRINCE. A. . F

This nod could also have gone to Caris LeVert who posted 20 points, six rebounds, and three assists but Taurean Prince gets the tap for his overall effort.

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Prince led his team in scoring with 21 points but also grabbed eight rebounds an assist, a steal, and a block. The Nets forward was hot from the outside connecting on five of his ten 3-point shots.

Other notes:

As has become typical for the Thunder they continue to get to the line much more frequently than their opponents.

Fortunately, they learned from the loss in Philadelphia and were much better from the stripe on this night hitting 82.8 percent of their 29 shots. The Nets got to the line for almost half as much with 16 free throws.

Turnovers were an issue as the Thunder coughed up 17 but the Nets matched that total. The difference was OKC translated Brooklyn’s miscues into 17 points while they only collected eight points off the Thunder turnovers.

The Nets feasted in the paint outscoring the Thunder 56 to 36 which could be partially explained by both Gallinari and Noel being out.

Next. Choices loom for Thunder – buy or sell, lottery or playoffs. dark

The OKC Thunder are back in action on Thursday as Russell Westbrook makes his return to the arena he spent his entire career until the trade to Houston. It’s his only visit this season to OKC and it’s sure to be a memorable evening.

For a full box score of tonight’s game, head over to this link courtesy of ESPN