Game Grades: OKC Thunder come out flat again in loss to Nets

The OKC Thunder came out flat against the Brooklyn Nets and suffered their second straight loss to open up the road trip.
Jan 5, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA;  Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2)
Jan 5, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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Grading the OKC Thunder starters:

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G, OKC Thunder: B+

At this point, it feels like Gilgeous-Alexander is going to get his no matter what.

He scored 34 points on an efficient 11-of-19 night from the floor. However, he had one of his worst free-throw-shooting nights of the season.

Only his game against the Boston Celtics had a worse percentage, shooting 5-of-8. But his 10-of-15 outing in Brooklyn was good for his worst game with at least 10 free throw attempts since the 2021-22 season.

Despite his struggles at the line, he added nine rebounds and six assists with only two turnovers to help the Thunder have a slight chance late.

Josh Giddey, G, OKC Thunder: B+

Giddey may be figuring things out after another solid game in Brooklyn.

After nailing four 3-pointers in the Thunder’s last game against the Nets, Giddey set his sights on the inside this time. He was particularly aggressive in the fourth quarter as the Thunder fought to get back in the game.

He battled through defenders on drives to make three layups that quarter and looked like he did in FIBA play over the Summer. He also added eight rebounds and five assists.

Lu Dort, F, OKC Thunder: C+

Dort played well defensively as usual, but some late fouls cost Oklahoma City momentum and allowed Brooklyn to keep a sizeable lead. 

Still, Dort shot 5-of-8 from the floor, nailing two 3-pointers. He also added a team-high three steals.

Jalen Williams, F, OKC Thunder: B

Williams continued his great fourth-quarter play in Brooklyn. However, with 12 of his 20 points coming that quarter, the Thunder needed more production from him early.

Still, he made some important baskets as the Thunder cut into the lead. Along with his second straight 20-point game, Williams grabbed five rebounds and added five assists.

Chet Holmgren, C, OKC Thunder: C

The rookie big man has been the most significant difference from last season for the Thunder. Of course, that is because of his inside presence. But that presence was nowhere to be seen in Brooklyn.

Holmgren finished with just one block, coming in the fourth quarter while battling for a defensive rebound. When it came to grabbing those defensive boards, he could only come away with three, marking the fourth time in the past five games he has failed to reach four defensive rebounds after doing so just once before.