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
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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC Thunder G: A+

A truly historic day in the middle of January for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as he dominated the Magic from start to finish. Orlando had no options, from Jalen Suggs to Paolo Banchero, no one could slow down the MVP favorite.

In this game, Gilgeous-Alexander dropped 38 points, hauled in six rebounds, dished out seven assists, collected three steals, and swatted a shot. All while shooting 65 percent from the floor, and 11-for-12 at the charity stripe which included an eye-popping six and-one's.

Being absolutely unguardable is a luxury. This Thunder offense can cash in with open looks not falling as they were not against Orlando.

Josh Giddey, OKC Thunder, G: B-

While Josh Giddey dominated the Portland Trailblazers game and appeared to turn the cornerOf course, he has to continue to stack the successes together.

Against the Orlando Magic, Giddey was able to post 12 points, dish out four assists, haul in eight rebounds, and swipe a steal. While Giddey struggled shooting the ball, going just 4-for-12 from the floor, he did earn four free throws in this contest.

This by no means was the offensive performance that Giddey produced against Portland, but his level of defensive engagement switching, playing the gaps, and cleaning up the glass really helped the Thunder.

Lu Dort, OKC Thunder, F: A-

Lu Dort was fantastic on the defensive end, fighting through screens to chase Magic rising star Paolo Banchero all around the floor. On the offensive end, two of the eight Thunder triples came via Dort, as he racked up 12 points, three rebounds, two assists, a steal, and a block.

Jalen Williams, OKC Thunder, F: B+

Another Jalen Williams takeover, which allowed the Thunder to not just survive in the Shai Gilgeous-Alexander-less minutes but gain ground. Williams has played like an All-Star caliber player since entering the league and has only improved as the games pass by.

16 points, six rebounds, and two assists to go along with a half-court buzzer beater to demoralize the Magic at the end of the third frame, and relentless tough shot making.

Chet Holmgren, OKC Thunder, C: A-

This was by no means the best game of Holmgren's career. That bar is already set extremely high, but the high-level reads with the ball in his hand, turnaround fallaways, and hard cuts generated a ton of offense for the Thunder.

Holmgren ended with 15 points, eight rebounds, three assists, a steal, and two blocks including one pinned off the glass to stay in play for a defensive rebound awarded to the Gonzaga product.