Without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on Friday, the Thunder’s other stars made their mark. Chet Holmgren and Lu Dort shined in the Thunder’s heartbreaking 141-139 loss to the Golden State Warriors. While Steph Curry’s last-second layup sunk the OKC Thunder in the In-Season Tournament opener, they should still leave the game feeling good.
Lu Dort and Chet Holmgren star in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s absence for the OKC Thunder. Despite a tough loss to the Golden State Warriors at the buzzer.
While replacing Gilgeous-Alexander’s production is complex, Holmgren and Dort each made a valiant effort. The two combined for 53 points in the star guard’s absence.
Dort’s third-quarter performance energized the crowd and kept the Thunder in the lead for most of the quarter. Dort scored 16 in the third and had some memorable moments.
Dort was feeling himself in the third, hyping himself up further after every basket. After Stephen Curry hit a three to tie the game, Dort answered immediately with a deep shot on the other end to get to 26 points on the night.
Dort finished the night with 29 points on 9-of-12 shooting but missed the first of two late free throws that would have given him 30 and Oklahoma City the lead.
Meanwhile, Holmgren displayed his star potential against Golden State. Although Dort had an eye-catching third quarter, Holmgren helped the Thunder take the lead in the first few minutes of the second half.
Including a post-up against Curry that ended with a dunk, Holmgren went for seven quick points in the third quarter. Like Dort, Holmgren had a late free throw trip, but he nailed both to put the Thunder in the lead.
Although Holmgren was just late contesting Curry’s game-winning layup, he did everything he could to help his team. In his best game yet, Holmgren ended with 24 points, eight rebounds and a block.
Holmgren and Dort were the leading stars for the Thunder, but Josh Giddey’s fourth quarter cannot be ignored. Giddey sparked the OKC Thunder early in the final frame on his way to 14 fourth-quarter points.
Still, more than those numbers were needed for the Thunder to win without Gilgeous-Alexander. The OKC Thunder will hope to get their star back for Monday’s game, but if not, they will look for the other stars to have another big game against the Hawks.