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’s best bench performer:

Vasilije Micic, G, OKC Thunder: B

After spending most of the season sitting on the bench, Micic is getting some more run as he better adjusts to the grind of an NBA season. His game in Brooklyn was another example of the value he can bring to the Thunder.

While his numbers don’t jump off the stat sheet, Micic made some important plays. He scored back-to-back layups in the second quarter as Brooklyn’s lead was larger than it had been at any other point, and had a stepback jumper in the fourth as Oklahoma City made a run.

Add in three assists, a steal and a block, and Micic made the exact type of impact the Thunder hope to get from him.

Grading the best Net:

Nic Claxton, C, Brooklyn Nets: A

While Dennis Smith Jr. deserves an honorable mention with a near triple-double and six offensive boards, Claxton one-upped him.

The Nets’ young center finished with eight offensive rebounds on his way to 13 total. His effort on the glass was a killer for the Thunder throughout the night.

He also led Brooklyn in scoring with 23, tying Spencer Dinwiddie. Claxton shot 8-of-11 from the floor with all his makes coming inside the paint, including five dunks.

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