OKC Thunder nearly finish off comeback, as young team continues to fight

Jalen Williams #8 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jalen Williams #8 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder opened up a seven-game home stand on Wednesday against the Miami Heat as the OKC Thunder have a ton of opportunities to play in front of the Paycom Center crowd with these seven games plus the New Year’s Eve contest against the 76ers on the docket to close out December only broken up by a quick jet out to Charlotte to take on the Hornets.

The Thunder got some bad news before the contest as Mark Daigneault informed those of us in the media before tip-off that second-year big man Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is considered week-to-week following a nasty fall in Dallas on Monday in the final game of the road trip against the Mavs.

The OKC Thunder can not outlast the Miami Heat after making a 21-point comeback, but 24 triples from Miami proves too much for Oklahoma City

In Jeremiah Robinson-Earl’s place, the OKC Thunder went back to Darius Bazley to make his first start of the season after being a staple of the first five for the past two seasons. Bazley played a season-high 30 minutes in this contest and looked revamped with 12 points, two assists, five rebounds, a stela, and a block while giving Bam Adebayo fits on the defensive end.

That starting five looked great on the floor together, and after one quarter the two sides were tied at 31 a piece, but the Heat went on a massive run in the second frame to build a 21-point lead that was eventually cut to 12 before halftime.

That is when the Oklahoma City Thunder made their run as rookie wing Jalen Willimas sparked a self-made 10-0 run to open the third quarter and OKC built a seven-point lead eventually before falling down the stretch.

Williams finished with 14 points, five rebounds, two assists, and two blocks going 2-for-4 from distance, and shooting 60 percent from the floor. The rookie from Santa Clara continues to impress with already a rookie of the month award under his belt.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey played well with each other, each logging 36 minutes with Gilgeous-Alexander going for 27 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists while Giddey chipped in 19 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists.

Oklahoma City saw the Miami Heat throw in 24 triples, a franchise record, and a game after watching the Dallas Mavericks nail 22 three’s against them. Tyler Herro led the way for Miami going for 35 points, making nine shots from beyond the arc, and shooting 52 percent from the floor including the game-winning mid-range jumper with five seconds left in the contest.

The OKC Thunder will look to rebound on Friday night in the Paycom Center against the Minnesota Timberwolves as those two teams wrap up their season series with a December matchup in Bricktown.

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