Grades: OKC Thunder starting five carry the load against Orlando Magic

The Oklahoma City Thunder got past the Orlando Magic thanks to a strong third frame from their starters.

Jan 13, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams (8)
Jan 13, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams (8) / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 3
Next

The Oklahoma City Thunder were able to go 2-0 on their mini-home stand to break up this road-heavy January slate. The Thunder are in the midst of a five-game in seven-day stretch, so stacking these wins is vital to their long-term success.

In their blowout win over Portland, Oklahoma City passed a maturity test, putting their foot down to blow past the lowly Portland Trailblazers despite being on the second night of a back-to-back, a great response to their last back-to-back set, which included travel.

As the OKC Thunder head west to take on the L.A. Lakers and Clippers to kick off another long road trip, they first turned in an impressive win over the shorthanded Orlando Magic.

Game Grades: OKC Thunder showed their ability to pivot vs the Magic

In the first half, the Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder combined to shoot just 6-for-42 from beyond the arc. This was a jarring result for the OKC Thunder, who sit two-tenths of a percentage point away from regaining their top shooting team in the league status.

While the OKC Thunder struggled to shoot, they showed their unique ability to adapt to a game. While most teams are stuck with one playstyle, as the triples rimmed out, the Thunder just put relentless pressure on the rim until their shooting strokes turned around.

This Thunder team only hit eight triples all night but shot 72 percent at the rim and 46 percent in the mid-range to dominate inside the three-point tape and allow them to walk out of the Paycom Center with a 12-point win over Orlando.