OKC Thunder plant their flag in the NBA Postseason conversion

Jaylin Williams #6 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)
Jaylin Williams #6 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder just upset the L.A. Clippers on their way to a .500 record for the first time since the NBA season was eight games old. The OKC Thunder have not been at or above .500 this deep into the season since the 2019-20 season, and it came in a gutty win on the road.

The Clippers set the tone early; this would be a playoff atmosphere from the jump. L.A. was playing high-level defense, the crowd was jumping, and they raced out to a 14-point lead over Oklahoma City.

The OKC Thunder have planted their flag in the NBA postseason conversation with their win over the L.A. Clippers on Tuesday.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was his usual self, despite feeling like the Clippers figured out how to defend him by forcing early turnovers. SGA finished with 31 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. The Superstar guard played in 36 minutes, shooting 48 percent from the floor in this one-point win by OKC.

When you have one of the best players in the sport, you have a shot at winning in any game. Mix that with Lu Dort, who, despite missing open looks on the offensive end, stayed engaged in the game and earned one of the best defensive stops you will ever see, now allowing Kawhi Leonard to get a shot off and forcing a shot clock violation to end the game. You have a strong recipe for success.

The ingredients do not stop there. Jalen Williams, a lottery pick who looks to be a future NBA All-Star, scored 20 points on 53 percent shooting from the floor. He grabbed eight rebounds, and three assists, swiped a stela, and swatted a shot on the defensive end.

Jaylin Williams, a high second-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, provides a positive spark with his high-end three-point shooting and being the best charge-drawing weapon in basketball.

Isaiah Joe is a three-point sharpshooter who impacts the game in more ways than one, plus a flurry of guys who can contribute on any given night, such as Aaron Wiggins, and you see why Mark Daigneault’s club is a dangerous one.

Now, the OKC Thunder own a .500 record, sitting at 36-36, tied in win percentage with the seventh seed, but currently sitting with the 8th seed as they march on this tough west coast trip.

Since January 1st, the Thunder have been one of the best teams in basketball, and even in the short-term, over their last ten games, they have the best record in the Western Conference, and only the 76ers have a better record in that span than Oklahoma City.

Next. OKC is open-minded to tweaking SGA's injury maintenance. dark