Game Grades: OKC Thunder defense takes over in win against Pelicans

The OKC Thunder defense leads the way for a massive win over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Oklahoma City Thunder v New Orleans Pelicans
Oklahoma City Thunder v New Orleans Pelicans / Sean Gardner/GettyImages
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Grading the OKC Thunder bench:

Aaron Wiggins, G, OKC Thunder: B+

The Thunder are beginning to realize what kind of weapon they have in Wiggins.

With another impressive outing on Friday, the third-year wing is still shooting better than 60% from the floor and 50% from 3-point range. He scored eight points and had one of the night’s most memorable shots.

With the Thunder looking to build on the lead in the fourth quarter, Wiggins pulled up for a 3-pointer that bounced high, then all around the rim before dropping in.

Kenrich Williams, F, OKC Thunder: B+

The Thunder’s glue guy played well in his former home arena. Williams scored eight points against the Pelicans, with almost all of his buckets coming at the rim.

Another active night defensively helped him finish with four rebounds and a steal, helping the Thunder get another impressive victory.

Cason Wallace, G, OKC Thunder: A

On a night when defense shined, the scene was perfect for Wallace. The Thunder turned the Pelicans over 20 times, four of which came directly from the rookie.

His four steals tied a career-high, leading to a few easy scores for Oklahoma City. Along with his excellent defense, Wallace was the Thunder’s leading scorer off the bench with 12.

Isaiah Joe, G, OKC Thunder: C-

The Thunder’s sharpshooter is beginning to slip toward the bottom of the rotation after finishing with the lowest minutes of the six main bench players on Friday.

While some of that is him playing limited minutes after the game got out of reach, it is indicative of his struggles. He finished with zero points, shooting 0-of-3.

Vasilije Micic, G, OKC Thunder: C

As Micic’s defense improves, he will become a viable option as a contributor late in the season. With 16 minutes against the Pelicans, he showed some of the flair he adds to the Thunder bench unit.

His tough and-one in the fourth quarter was his only bucket of the game, but it pumped up the rest of the team on the floor. Considering his ability as a passer, he could be an added threat if he can consistently finish through contact.

Jaylin Williams, F, OKC Thunder: B

Williams’ bid to be the Thunder’s backup big man for the rest of the season is growing stronger. He finished second behind Holmgren with six rebounds and is learning to take advantage of his large frame.

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