The OKC Thunder continue to roll with yet another impressive performance at home, this time against the Atlanta Hawks. Player grades serve up the highlights.
It’s not like the Atlanta Hawks are the stiffest of competition, but any game in the NBA can be tough given the talent in the league. Thankfully for the OKC Thunder, they had more of that talent this evening as they rolled past the visiting Hawks at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Tonight marked the return to the state of Oklahoma for Trae Young, the newly anointed All-Star starter. His homecoming was ruined by a smothering defensive effort from youngster Lu Dort and other OKC Thunder defenders.
The game started out as a track meet, as both teams scored over 30 points in the opening frame. But as the first half went on, it was clear that the OKC Thunder were the superior team on this night. They used a strong offensive effort to build an eight-point halftime lead.
More of the same for both teams in the second half, as the Thunder really got cooking from behind the arc. Mike Muscala and Dennis Schroeder used a barrage of threes to open up this game despite a mini Hawks run midway through the third period. This allowed OKC to build their lead even further, this time to 14 points with one quarter to go.
The fourth quarter was the knockout punch the Thunder needed to get past these Atlanta Hawks, Chris Paul hit a big stepback three and the momentum carried OKC the rest of the way, resulting in an impressive 140-111 victory.
Another tough game tomorrow night against the always pesky Minnesota Timberwolves. Let’s head to our player grades.