The OKC Thunder looked to bounce back against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night in downtown Oklahoma City at the Paycom Center after falling to the T-Wolves in Minnesota on Wednesday night.
In this game, the Oklahoma City Thunder got their head coach Mark Daigneault back from the NBA Health and Safety COVID-19 Protocols. The OKC Thunder bench boss has been out of action since December 28th, leaving Mike Wilks at the helm as the acting head coach in his absence. Mark Daigneault mentioned before the game, he did not have any symptoms, but his covid level was “very contagious” and makes everyone aware had he not been an NBA head coach, he would not have thought to test himself given his lack of symptoms. Daigneault went on to talk about the importance of masking given the nature of spreading this disease without even knowing you have it.
OKC Thunder get blown out by Minnesota Timberwolves
While Mark Daigneault’s return to the sidelines was welcomed, the team fell flat again against Minnesota, though this was almost a reverse of the first game. On Wednesday night, the Thunder got blitzed out of the gate and got down by 20, only scoring ten points in the first quarter. In this game, the OKC Thunder kept pace for the majority of the first half before eventually getting blown out 135-105.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continues to struggle, burying himself in the All-Star race, as he puts up 12 points on 36-percent shooting, going 0-for-3 from deep. SGA hauled in three rebounds and dished out six assists on his way to two steals and a block on the defensive end. The max contract point guard turned the ball over four times and finds himself in a little bit of a rut. This, of course, is no cause for concern he is only a week removed from winning the Western Conference Player of the Week award. It is just the biggest example of why this game got so lopsided, there is a ton of pressure on the Kentucky product. This team goes as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander does.
Josh Giddey put up ten points on 3-for-6 shooting from the floor, five rebounds, five assists, and a steal as well bringing his turnover number down to three vs the six he gave away on Wednesday. Aaron Wiggins kept his double-digit scoring streak alive with 13, Lu Dort chipped in 18, and Tre Mann poured in ten points as well.
The OKC Thunder will now look to rebound against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday in the Paycom Center and snap this three-game losing skid. OKC is 4-6 in their last ten games, three games back of the Houston Rockets for the worst record in the conference, and a pair of games back of the Spurs for the NBA Play-In tournament.