Game Grades: OKC Thunder powered by trio in OT win over Warriors

The OKC Thunder were able to knock off the Warriors in Overtime again, thanks to their young trio.

Dec 8, 2023; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Chet Holmgren (7), and
Dec 8, 2023; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Chet Holmgren (7), and / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
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Grading the OKC Thunder starters:

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G, OKC Thunder: A

It’s well known that Oklahoma City is home to a superstar, but it may also be home to an MVP.

Gilgeous-Alexander went for 38 points in the Thunder’s win over the Warriors. It took some time for the guard to get going, but once he did, it was a masterpiece.

He shot 50% and nailed some crucial shots in the last few possessions of regulation. Of course, Gilgeous-Alexander continued that into overtime, nailing a couple of jumpers to take a quick six-point lead.

As the Thunder narrowly missed their season-high in steals, Gilgeous-Alexander led the way with five. 

Outside of his rough start, the only knock on his game was his unusually poor free-throw shooting night, missing three. Ultimately, he more than made up for that and made another statement against Stephen Curry and the Warriors.

Josh Giddey, G, OKC Thunder: B-

Although he did not play in the clutch, Giddey made some important plays throughout the game. His rebounding was especially needed.

The third-year guard finished with a team-high nine rebounds as part of a solid all-around performance. Giddey also put up nine points, four assists and three steals.

Lu Dort, F, OKC Thunder: B+

The Thunder’s defensive stopper did his job with a tough matchup. In fact, it may be the toughest matchup in the league: Stephen Curry.

Curry finished with 34 points on 50% shooting, but most of his night looked much different. Dort played harassing defense to help hold him down much of the night and force him into three turnovers.

Offensively, Dort had a good night, too. He scored 16 points, and his layup with 10.2 seconds left in overtime pushed Oklahoma City’s lead to four.

His night looked to be over late in the fourth as he left the floor with an apparent leg injury before coming back to lock up Curry on the final possession of regulation.

Jalen Williams, F, OKC Thunder: A

Some nights, Jalen Williams just had “it.” Friday was one of those nights.

The second-year phenom scored 28 points on a wildly efficient 12-of-15 shooting performance. He also came up big when it mattered most, scoring 12 in the fourth quarter and the Thunder’s first field goal in overtime.

Including one where he played defensive back, Williams came away with three steals. 

If Oklahoma City can get performances like this from Williams consistently, it may be able to enter contention sooner than anticipated.

Chet Holmgren, C, OKC Thunder: A

For just the second time in Thunder history, mom made pizza rolls.

Following Holmgren’s clutch and-one to put Oklahoma City up 10 in overtime, he was joined by Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams in celebrating the big bucket to recreate the classic meme. That play will leave a lasting image on the season and the franchise.

Before Holmgren could make that play, he had to step up in the final seconds of regulation. Draymond Green fouled him on a potential game-tying 3-pointer, leading to a perfect trip to the foul line.

Despite foul trouble throughout the night, the rookie finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.