The Oklahoma City Thunder fell to 0-2 on the season after a close loss to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, with the final score being 122-117. Despite quality performances out of Josh Giddey, Mike Muscala, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Thunder could not find a way to finish off the Nuggets.
Oklahoma City Thunder went punch for punch with the Denver Nuggets despite a late loss
Though he kept four of the five starters the same, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl was given the nod at the center position and tasked with guarding two-time MVP Nikola Jokic.
This game was a tightly contested game throughout neither team grabbed a double-digit lead. However, they just could not manage to pull themselves in front when the buzzer rang at the end of the game.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander shined for Oklahoma City. This time he finished with 28 points while shooting 46 percent from the field against the Nuggets. He also logged seven assists, three rebounds, and one steal in nearly 34 minutes of action.
Sophomore Josh Giddey also put his all-around abilities on display, especially the work he did on his jumper in the offseason. Giddey ended with 19 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, one steal, and one block while shooting 47 percent from the field on the night. He also shot 50 percent from three, going 2-for-4 in the game.
Yet, the biggest headline of the night would be Mike Muscala’s performance off the bench. After playing just over seven minutes in the first game of the season against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Muscala finished the night with just under 19 minutes logged against the Denver Nuggets.
Muscala turned in18 points, six rebounds, and one assist, shooting 60 percent overall and 57 percent from behind on the arc on seven attempts. Muscala saw himself on the floor for parts of clutch time against the Nuggets. The veteran showed his worth as his shooting presence kept the team in the game throughout the night.
Now, the Oklahoma City Thunder will head home and host the Minnesota Timberwolves Sunday, taking on the Wolves for the second time in three games as this contest serves as the Thunder’s home opener.