OKC Thunder erase 19 point deficit to claim 5th in a row: players grades

Dennis Schroder #17 of the OKC Thunder talks with teammate Nerlens Noel #9. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Dennis Schroder #17 of the OKC Thunder talks with teammate Nerlens Noel #9. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
1 of 4
OKC Thunder
FEBRUARY 7: Chris Paul #3 and Dennis Schroder #17 of the OKC Thunder talk during the game against the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder flirted with disaster letting the Sacramento Kings build a huge lead but they roared back to win the game in clutch time. Here are your player grades.

Without De’Aaron Fox in the Kings lineup, one might think this was going to be an easy victory for the OKC Thunder at home on Chesapeake Energy Arena’s hardwood. No such luck!

The Kings are intent on playing spoiler and playing right to game 82 just in case some teams above them falter or injuries take a toll. It’s a long shot they’ll sneak in for the eighth seed but you’d never know it based on how they came out against the Thunder.

149. Final. 108. 84. 112

Those typical bad habits rose up as Sacramento took a minor two-point lead in the first but built upon it in the second quarter exiting the court at halftime with an 11 point edge.

The onslaught continued to start the third quarter as Sacramento combined aggressiveness with their bevy of 3-point snipers who can light up the perimeter. The resulting effect was a 19 point lead and the Thunder in jeopardy of losing a trap game to the spoiler Kings.

By the 7:34 mark of the third quarter with Sacramento up 75-57, Billy Donovan had seen enough and called a time out. There were a number of players who factored in the comeback but the mainstays on the court for most of the frame were Dennis Schroder, Danilo Gallinari, and Nerlens Noel. Each of CP3, SGA and Hamidou Diallo factored. The one improvement was the team was patient in their offensive sets constantly seeking the best shot.

The Thunder dialed up the defense and between 6:05 until :26 of the third frame held the Kings scoreless. By the end of the quarter, the Thunder were trailing by a single point.

In the fourth, the “United Nations” clutch time crew took over. Danilo Gallinari’s 3-point shot at 4:49 put the Thunder up 98-97 never to trail again.

With that, here are your player grades.