The identity of this young OKC Thunder team has been in the works for quite some time now. They used to be scrappy, a squad full of potential, but have only scratched the surface.
This game, a win that saw the OKC Thunder turn a 90-100 deficit into a 108-105 final result, was a breakthrough for the team’s development and subsequent leap to contender status.
The final two minutes were a treat for everyone who has watched and followed the Thunder throughout the rebuilding years. Four different Thunder players drilled four threes while crawling to the win — a testament to the balanced, concerted effort by the team down the final stretch.
The OKC Thunder pull off an epic comeback, down ten with two minutes left, three takeaways from a road win in Cleveland.
First, it was a Lu Dort three from the top of the key, then another three from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to cut it down to six. Jalen Williams followed suit with another triple from the right wing off a dribble penetration by Isiah Joe before Chet Holmgren nailed a transition three to shock the Cavaliers and knock the wind out of the sails of the home crowd.
Dort converted on a drive to take a 104-102 lead, and the OKC Thunder never looked back from there.
The OKC Thunder’s never-say-die identity, coupled with their rugged style of play, was perfectly exemplified in the final two minutes of the win. The young crew, the second youngest in the league this season, took the Cavs’ best punches and answered with their own. Few can say that to a team that youthful in the NBA.
The OKC Thunder is sitting on a 2-0 throne for the first time in seven years, the last time being at the 2016-2017 season. Two road games were undoubtedly a litmus test for the squad, but with their performances in the season opener against the Chicago Bulls and at Cleveland, OKC may have set the tone for this new 82-game cycle.
For the second game, there are a few notable takeaways to pick out.