The OKC Thunder preseason came to a disappointing finish as their frantic comeback was not enough.
The OKC Thunder fell to the Detroit Pistons 118-116 in the preseason finale in Tulsa. The OKC Thunder could not get a shot at the buzzer as they finished the preseason with a 2-3 record.
OKC Thunder finished the preseason with encouraging play despite the loss.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed the final preseason game with a knee contusion. The Thunder’s other three stars played well without the all-NBA guard.
Jalen Williams led Oklahoma City early with ten first-quarter points. Williams’ relentless driving helped him finish with 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting.
Williams finished with five assists, putting him just shy of Josh Giddey’s team-high of seven. Despite a rough shooting night, Giddey had a solid all-around performance.
The third-year guard finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. Giddey also showed his defensive improvement with three steals.
Chet Holmgren battled with Detroit’s big-man trio of Jalen Duren, Marvin Bagley, and James Wiseman throughout the game on his way to 10 points. Holmgren struggled at times but still finished with three blocks and four rebounds.
After missing the Pistons’ first preseason matchup with the Thunder, Cade Cunningham had a productive 14-point outing. Cunningham hit a pair of 3-pointers to go with six rebounds and six assists.
Rookie Ausar Thompson was Detroit’s leading scorer with 18 points. The fifth pick in the draft added eight rebounds and a couple of steals in 22 minutes.
A couple of Thunder rookies had notable performances as guard Cason Wallace returned from injury and got some extra minutes in Gilgeous-Alexander’s absence. Wallace scored 13 points and added three steals.
Meanwhile, Vasilije Micic may have secured his spot in the rotation after another solid outing. In the preseason, Micic’s playmaking has been his strength, and he displayed that again against Detroit, finishing with six assists.
The OKC Thunder’s 3-point shooting held them back in the first half as they shot only 4-of-18 on their way to a five-point lead. Davis Bertans helped with those struggles as he nailed a three on the first possession of the third quarter on his way to three makes from deep.
Down the stretch, Jack White and Tre Mann had an opportunity to battle for the final roster spot. White threw down a couple of dunks and was active on the glass. Mann finished with one assist but missed his only two shots and committed two fouls, including one on a 3-point attempt.
The OKC Thunder will have to make their final roster move before the regular season tips off in Chicago on Wednesday.