After frantic comebacks in their first three preseason games, the OKC Thunder cruised to a preseason win.
Hot shooting, plus the exceptional play of the big four, helped the OKC Thunder blow out the Milwaukee Bucks 124-101. The Thunder finished the night 18-of-39 from outside to help them get a lead early and blow the game open in the second half.
Young stars lead OKC Thunder to a blowout against the Bucks in preseason tilt.
Josh Giddey’s heightened aggressiveness showed up early and never wavered. In addition to a free throw that finished an and-one, Giddey made his way inside for nine buckets on his way to a team-high 19 points.
Midway through the second quarter, Vasilije Micic threw a lob just inside half-court for Jalen Williams to throw down. That connection gave Williams two of his 18 points to go with a couple of steals.
OKC Thunder big man Chet Holmgren also scored 18 points. He shot 7-of-8, but five turnovers are a sign that his game is still a work in progress.
The Bucks were without a few key players but still put their two superstars on the floor. Giannis Antetokounmpo had a solid night with 18 points, 10 rebounds, and four steals, but Damian Lillard’s outing was a struggle.
He finished with only five points, and the OKC Thunder’s defense especially affected him in the first quarter. The Bucks’ big offseason acquisition missed all four of his shots, including one that Holmgren sent back.
Lillard was not the only Buck struggling against the Thunder’s first-quarter defense. Milwaukee shot only 31% in the quarter and turned the ball over seven times.
While Lillard had a lackluster night, his backcourt counterpart did his best to make up for it. Malik Beasley was Milwaukee’s leading scorer with 20 points and six 3-pointers.
While his scoring is still coming along, Micic finished with seven assists. Among those dimes was Isaiah Joe’s first 3-pointer on his way to an 11-point outing.
With the news that Jaylin Williams will miss time to begin the season, this game allowed Olivier Sarr a chance to fight for early-season minutes. Sarr had a solid early stint and finished with seven points and seven rebounds.
The OKC Thunder will have one more preseason game against the Detroit Pistons in Tulsa on Thursday before the regular season tips off next week.