Five most significant games of the OKC Thunder in the 2022-23 season

Jalen Williams #8 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Jalen Williams #8 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Luguentz Dort #5 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images) /

Lu Dort clamps Kawhi Leonard en route to OKC Thunder win over the LA Clippers

Lu Dort’s offensive struggles have been well documented. His shooting has taken a considerable dip this past season and his driving was an underwhelming facet too. To put it simply, he has been a below average offensive player for the OKC Thunder.

But his defensive abilities have never wavered, and his exploits have always bothered opposing teams’ best players — which was utterly exhibited in their game versus the LA Clippers on March 21st.

Dort shot atrociously throughout the game but made the game-winning defensive stop versus Kawhi Leonard to propel OKC to a slim 101-100 victory over the Clippers on the road.

Dort finished the game with seven points, on just 3-of-11 shooting, including 1-of-8 from the three-point range, not to mention that he played the most minutes for the team on that game while defenders completely sagged off him, hurting the Thunder’s offensive spacing.

In the end though, Dort’s strengths overshadowed the weaknesses and ultimately bailed him and the Thunder out for a crucial win. Dort clamped up Leonard, despite two screen attempts, to hold the former two-time finals MVP to bungle the final possession and not even create a shot.

It was a microcosm of Dort’s season for the Thunder after his hefty five-year, 82-million contract — inconsistent, often terrible offense, with elite showcase of defense. The game truly epitomized the great extremes of Dort’s game.

The game also saw the Thunder keep in step with the Clippers, despite being down by as huge as 14 points in the first quarter. It was one of the closest games of the season with a favorable ending for the Thunder.