Josh Giddey dominates fourth quarter in OKC Thunder win

Josh Giddey #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Josh Giddey #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder have won their third straight game as the OKC Thunder top the Atlanta Hawks, 121-114. Thunder Sophomore Guard Josh Giddey scored 12 fourth-quarter points to power Oklahoma City to a win, after rookie forward Ousmane Dieng kept the team afloat after a tough third-quarter stretch.

The Oklahoma City Thunder avoided their stereotypical slow start, but abnormally the team had an awful stretch in the third quarter, a frame they typically dominate. Part of the turnaround for the Thunder, who once trailed by 14 points, was Ousmane Dieng’s personal 5-0 run to end the third.

The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Atlanta Hawks 121-114 behind Josh Giddey breaking out in the fourth quarter, Ousmane Dieng keeping the team afloat, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander dropping 30 points for the seventh straight game

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had his seventh straight 30-plus point game, as the Oklahoma City Thunder max contract guard dropped 35 points, dished out five assists, hauled in six rebounds, swiped two steals, and shot 45 percent from the floor. Still, this jaw-dropping performance was not the lone catalyst for the OKC Thunder’s comeback win.

Josh Giddey scored 12 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, with each bucket coming in the second half. Giddey only turned the ball over once while handing out four assists, and hauling in five rebounds.

Ousmane Dieng was highly impactful with 15 points on just two missed shots, five rebounds, an assist, and a steal. His rookie counterpart Jalen Williams had eight first-half points on his way to 12 overall, seven rebounds, and a block on the defensive end. Sam Presti’s draft class has really flashed its potential.

The Oklahoma City Thunder just continued to battle, and that has to be annoying around the NBA where competing night in and night out is almost taboo. The Thunder are on the second leg of a five-game, 11-day, road trip. Each game is against playoff teams, and OKC just lacked energy and effort in the second and third quarters.

The lacking effort, getting down 14, not putting bodies on guys on the glass, amid a long road trip, all of that is supposed to add up to a “pack it in” game once you are down 14 points. However, the Thunder just keep fighting, wearing down teams, and it leads to not only competitive basketball but their 11th win before Christmas.

The Oklahoma City Thunder sit at 11-13, 12th in the NBA Western Conference, and a game and a half out of the NBA Play-In tournament. Will they make the postseason? Who knows, I do not think that even matters, what matters is the way this team (the youngest in the NBA, and second youngest in league history only ahead of last year’s Thunder squad) competes and develops.

Mark Daigneault’s squad is learning how to win, with a nose for competing, and an incredibly bright future. Not only is Chet Holmgren sitting on the sideline waiting to be added back to the fold after he rehabs his season-ending foot injury, but the 2023 NBA Draft is loaded no matter where the Thunder’s pick falls.

Next. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a superstar. dark