When the OKC Thunder were down 23 points in the second half, the win felt like a long shot. The usual shots they make clanked the rim. The usual looks they generate never materialized.
But through a team effort, clutch time shooting, and connectedness on both ends of the floor, the OKC Thunder pulled an impressive 135-127 double-overtime win versus the Toronto Raptors to improve to 35-15, one of the best records in the Western Conference.
The Thunder pulled off the improbable victory
Five players scored not just in double digits but also on 20-plus points to take the come-from-behind victory. Starters Chet Holmgren (22), Josh Giddey (24), Lu Dort (22), and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (23), along with Aaron Wiggins (20) off the bench, carried the scoring cudgels for the Thunder.
“You never know how a team’s going to play you, so it took us obviously a little bit to calibrate that. It was an impressive show of confidence by our team ... to go out there and get that one,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said.
Besides the win, the Thunder also launched 63 threes in the game, which took almost two hours to finish, tying the team record. The Thunder went 23-of-63 or about 37 percent of the three.
Known as a heavy driving team as they lead the league on drives per game, the Thunder dealt with the Raptors' suffocating defense, blocking driving lanes and encouraging kick-out passes or step-back threes. At least for the better part of the first three quarters, Toronto’s game plan worked wonders.
The Thunder figured out the Raptors in the fourth quarter and the succeeding overtime periods as they once again showed the ethos they built throughout the rebuilding process.
There were a lot of heroes in the game, but some stood the tallest. Here are some takeaways from the Thunder’s win.