Grading the OKC Thunder starters:
Superstars on great teams take care of business against bad teams. Gilgeous-Alexander scored 13 first-quarter points as the Thunder took an early lead and never looked back.
He put together another impressive quarter in third with 11 points. That led him to 28 points, and his 7-of-7 performance at the foul line got the Thunder halfway to their perfect night there.
Josh Giddey simply did what he needed to do in Portland. It was not necessarily pretty, but he helped put the Thunder in position for the game they had.
With Giddey in the rut he’s in, this is an ideal performance for him. Giddey put up some solid numbers and may have had a shot at a triple-double in a non-blowout.
Giddey finished with six points, five assists, and four rebounds. He did, however, turn the ball over four times.
While it was a near-perfect outing for Oklahoma City, Cason Wallace could not have the same impact he has had for much of the season. Not that it mattered in the end, but Wallace looked like the rookie he is in his 20 minutes.
Wallace scored just two points on two shots. But he did help set the tone by breaking up a Blazers fast break just a minute into the game.
Lu Dort joined in on the Thunder’s barrage from 3-point range with a couple of makes. Dort used those shots to guide him to a 12-point night, including some tough finishes in the first quarter.
Dort’s hustle was a clear step ahead of Portland’s throughout the game, and it was infectious for Oklahoma City. The defensive star also led Oklahoma City in plus-minus with a +27 in the blowout.
Chet Holmgren has a knack for starting games well and did so again in Portland. Holmgren scored 16 first-half points on perfect shooting, including a couple of 3-pointers.
His first outside shot gave the Thunder a lead in the first minute, and they would never trail again. He also let his presence be known down low.
Holmgren blocked two shots and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Thunder in both stats. His third quarter was an oddity as he failed to register a single stat. But that was fine because his early damage allowed him to rest for the entire fourth quarter.