Grading Thunder players in overtime victory over Bulls

OKC Thunder forward Jalen Williams (8) and forward Kenrich Williams (34) celebrate after Jalen scores against the Toronto Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
OKC Thunder forward Jalen Williams (8) and forward Kenrich Williams (34) celebrate after Jalen scores against the Toronto Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

The Thunder ended its home stand on Friday defeating the Chicago Bulls 123-119 in overtime. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and DeMar DeRozan traded 30-point performances as the Thunder improve their record to 8-11 on the season.

The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Chicago Bulls 123-119 in overtime behind Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s 13th 30-point performance of the season.

The Bulls started off the game taking a 9-0 lead before the Thunder regrouped and bounced back. SGA dominated the first quarter for OKC, scoring 12 points and dishing out three assists in the first frame. He ended his spectacular quarter with a spinning buzzer-beater at the top of the paint.

In the first half, the Thunder were very careful with the basketball, only committing two turnovers halfway through the game. However, OKC ended the game with 13 turnovers as the Bulls got more physical on defense. Chicago had a rough third quarter shooting the ball, but just as the Thunder looked like they were gonna put the game away, the Bulls fought back.

Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan came alive for Chicago, but clutch plays from Giddey and SGA, as well as hustle plays from Lu Dort and Kenrich Williams, helped the Thunder force overtime for their second consecutive game.

Final/OT. 119. 24. 123. 149

In overtime, OKC was able to pull away from Chicago with clutch free throws from SGA, who continues his All-NBA campaign. The Bulls had defeated the Celtics and the Bucks before dropping this game to the Thunder, showing that OKC can beat any team on any given night.

Oklahoma City Thunder. SHAI GILGEOUS-ALEXANDER. A-. . G

SGA has been nothing short of phenomenal all season long. This game marks his third straight game scoring 30 or more points and his 11th straight game with at least one block. He stuffed the stat sheet with eight rebounds and seven assists. Alex Caruso made SGA work harder than usual for his buckets, but he still got to his spots in the mid-range and knocked down tough jumpers.

B. . G. Oklahoma City Thunder. JOSH GIDDEY

Giddey was just one assist away from a triple-double, recording 10 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists. He started out the contest shooting just 1-for-8 but made up for it late in the game with timely buckets and smart plays. He did turn the ball over five times, but it’s hard to be critical of Giddey when he puts up this kind of stat line.

C+. . G/F. Oklahoma City Thunder. LUGUENTZ DORT

Dort has been hot for the entire month of November, but this game he struggled to put the ball in the hoop. Dort was just 2-for-8 on the night, but he still had a solid game. DeRozan had to work extra hard for his 30 points, as Dort made quality contests to impact his shots. It was Dort’s defense that forced a couple of huge DeRozan mid-range misses late in the game.

C+. . G/F. Oklahoma City Thunder. JALEN WILLIAMS

Coach Mark Daigneault opted for a small ball starting five that saw Jalen Williams getting his fifth start of the season. Williams scored eight points on an efficient 3-of-4 from the field. In 20 minutes of action, you’d hope Williams would put up more than four shots, but he just didn’t get the looks he wanted.

Oklahoma City Thunder. ALEKSEJ POKUSEVSKI. B+. . F/C

Aleksej Pokusevski has been one of the brighter spots for this Thunder team far. Poku scored 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field, with six rebounds and one block. Poku has failed to record a block in just two games this season, as he blossoms into one of the league’s better rim protectors. His shooting has also seen a massive improvement, and Poku was a killer from inside the three-point line in this game, knocking down multiple mid-range jumpers, including a buzzer-beater to end the third quarter. A very good game from the third-year forward.

F. Oklahoma City Thunder. DARIUS BAZLEY. A-.

Darius Bazley has been adjusting to his bench role to start this season and this was easily his best game so far. Bazley dropped 17 points on a very efficient 7-of-9 shooting from the field, including two three-pointers. His defense, as usual, was also great, as he swatted two shots.

Grading the best player from the Chicago Bulls in its overtime loss to Oklahoma City.

DEMAR DEROZAN. A-. . F/G. Chicago Bulls

DeRozan has been hooping all season for the Bulls and this game was no different. Despite being attacked by some great wing defenders, especially Dort, DeRozan managed to score 30 points, all of which came from inside the three-point line. Watching Gilgeous-Alexander and DeRozan go bucket for bucket in the mid-range area was certainly fun to watch, as DeRozan tried his best to push the Chicago over OKC.

The Thunder are now 2-2 in games that go to overtime this season. The Thunder look ahead to the second night of their back-to-back, as they travel to Houston to take on the fifteenth-seeded Rockets.

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