Oklahoma City’s gritty thunder stifles Lakers attack, causes major upheaval

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The Oklahoma City Thunder managed a surprise to win against the Los Angeles Lakers. The gritty Thunder team kept the number one seed under control throughout the game, not allowing them to get into their rhythm and won the game 105-86. Big games take big players and veteran Chris Paul has answered the call. He led the game by scoring and led the OKC Thunder as always. Following the birth of his son, Dennis Schroder of Thunder had to leave the bubble. They also missed Terrance Ferguson, who had a bruised leg. Despite this, they were able to achieve victory. The Thunder were also helped by the Lakers who continued having bad nights of filming which saw them go 5/37 beyond the arc, at a paltry 13.5%.

Oklahoma City Thunder: proving the critics wrong

The Thunder had a 0.2 chance of making the playoffs through ESPN. During the post-match interview, Paul repeated several times, “No one expected us to be here. 0.2%, ” to remind critics how wrong they were.

One of the biggest positives for the Thunder has been the defense of undrafted rookie Luguentz Dort over LeBron James. He was a devastation throughout the game and didn’t allow LeBron to get comfortable. Their defense overall was so good that it was the first time in all season that the Lakers were unable to take the lead once. It was the fewest points the Thunder have given the Lakers since 2016.

The Thunder also had a disappointing shooting night, as they went 5-24 from the three-point line. But they were clinical with their free throws. They went to the line 36 times and converted 32, at an incredible 88.9% percent. All five of their starters scored in double digits. Despite five turnovers, CP3 was still the best player on the field, scoring 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists while rising to 66.7 percent from the field.

Since Thanksgiving, the Thunder have had the second-best record in the league. They’ve had a 36-14 record since then, with only the Bucks on top of them.

The Thunder are now 3-1 in the bubble and then face the Grizzlies and Wizards, who have yet to win a game. Billy Donovan’s men moved up to the fourth seed after the victory and hope to win and consolidate this position.

Sources:

Schroder leaves the bubble, Ferguson out

ESPN Twitter Statistics and News

StatMuse on Twitter

OKC Thunder sur Twitter

OKC vs. LAL

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