OKC Thunder vs. Wolves Jan. 25 replay: 3 winning keys

Darius Bazley #7 of the OKC Thunder in action against the Brooklyn. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Darius Bazley #7 of the OKC Thunder in action against the Brooklyn. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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Fox served up a Father’s Day special with the OKC Thunder – Wolves Jan. 25 replay.  Three keys punctuated the win.

As OKC Thunder fans gathered to celebrate Father’s Day, Fox Sports Oklahoma offered up a special replay. The match featured the OKC Thunder taking down the Minnesota Timberwolves on January 25th.

With sights set on performing well in the Disney bubble these Thunder replay games are serving as a reminder of how special this iteration of the team is.

This was the third win in as many meetings between the Thunder and Wolves. The first encounter took overtime to decide on December 6th with OKC prevailing 139-127. In the second meeting on January 13th, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander delivered his first career triple-double. SGA led OKC to a 117-104 victory with his incredible output of 20 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 assists.

The third contest between the clubs resulted in the Thunder extending their win streak to five games in a row as well as their fifth consecutive road win.

Fox aired the replay at 6:00 p.m and it offered three vital takeaways on why the Thunder captured a third successive win over the Wolves.

Three keys to OKC Thunder win vs. Wolves

Sixth Man rules the court:

Dennis Schroder has delivered an exceptional season for the OKC Thunder and this win over the Wolves highlighted many of his valuable assets.

The fact the Thunder was playing on a back-to-back set meant the players were fatigued and having his energy off the bench proved to be the elixir which fueled the winning effort.

Schroder led the scoring with 26 points adding four rebounds, two assists, a steal, and connected on four of his six 3-point attempts.

Thunder avoid bad habits:

The two biggest issues the Thunder has faced this season are their propensity to start games slow or come out of the locker room without a two-way effort.

They avoided both those issues in this match winning the first frame 28-22 and annihilating the Wolves 39-24 in the third quarter. Captain Chris Paul led the effort out of the break scoring 13 points, grabbing three rebounds and dishing four assists.

Glimpse of Bazley ceiling:

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Although rookie Darius Bazley has received consistent minutes when healthy, he’s not often featured as a focal point of the offense. This contest offered insight for the optimism about his potential ceiling.

In an unusual starting role, Bazley filled up the stat sheet dropping 15 points on a highly efficient 5 of 6 from the field, 1 of 2 from deep, and a perfect 4 for 4 from the stipe. In addition, the rook had an assist, steal, and block.  His plus 12 differential was second only to CP3.

Having just recently turned 20, Bazley offers ample reason for excitement about the future iterations of this team.

While the Timberwolves weren’t world-beaters in 2019-20, recent seasons served up difficult losses to this club so the fact the Thunder swept their three meetings left the jinx they were experiencing in the past.

For those who prefer the full stat picture check out the ESPN box score that followed the victory.

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