The race for the number one seed and the right to coach the Western Conference All-Stars has been quite challenging for the top teams in the West. The OKC Thunder have been in this race since the start of the season.
At least for now, the Thunder are on top of the West standings after dominating the Charlotte Hornets, 126-106, in one of the most lopsided wins for the team this season Friday night. The win propelled the Thunder to the top seed with a 34-15 record, tied with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Thunder overwhelmed the Hornets
The game showed the Thunder's incredible depth, consistency, and relentlessness towards any opponent. The Thunder put on a masterclass of pounding a team by just playing their ever-impressive system.
The Thunder scored 39 points in the first quarter, held the Hornets scoreless for over two minutes, and took control from thereon. From buzzer to buzzer, the fans inside the Paycom Center watched a showcase of the Thunder’s prowess from both ends of the floor.
All this despite missing starter Jalen Williams (ankle) and key backup gunner Isaiah Joe (bruised sternum). The Thunder were just a cut above the Hornets in all facets of the game.
The Thunder shot an efficient 57 percent from the field, including 17 threes on 47 percent from threes. They also frequently got to the free throw line, nailing 21 of their 27 charities versus the Hornets.
The Thunder also had nine more rebounds, nine more assists, and six more blocks for their 34th win of the season. The dominant showing allowed the Thunder to play 14 players as the lead grew to 35 points at one point.
The Thunder are now 18-6 at home, a reasonably great mark for a team looking to start the month on a high note after a busy January schedule.
Here are some takeaways from the Thunder’s win over the Hornets.