In a resounding 134-91 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, the Oklahoma City Thunder soar to No. 2 in West, Thunder showcased their prowess and climbed to the second spot in the Western Conference standings with a stellar 10-4 record, trailing only the Minnesota Timberwolves. Here are three key takeaways from their commanding win:
OKC Thunder Soar to No. 2 in West
The Thunder’s offensive juggernaut continues to dominate. Over the past week, Oklahoma City has scored over 120 points in four consecutive games, securing victories against the Spurs, the Golden State Warriors (twice), and the Trail Blazers. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chet Holmgren have not only been prolific scorers but have done so with remarkable efficiency. In the dismantling of the Trail Blazers, the Thunder shot an impressive 60.5% from the field and an astonishing 61% from beyond the arc. Holmgren contributed 16 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting, emphasizing the team’s balanced offensive attack that has propelled them to the top tier of the Western Conference.
A playoff contender’s strength often lies in its bench, and the Thunder showcased their depth against the Trail Blazers. With a substantial lead throughout the game, head coach Mark Daigneault provided extended minutes to the bench players. The reserves seized the opportunity, collectively contributing 70 points. Standouts included Isaiah Joe, who tallied 15 points, and impressive performances from Aaron Wiggins and Lindy Waters III with 13 and 12 points, respectively. This display underscored the team’s depth and hinted at the potential for these players to earn more minutes in the regular rotation.
Contrary to the norm, the Thunder have excelled on the road, boasting a 6-1 record away from home. This ability to secure wins in challenging away games, including victories against formidable opponents like the Bulls, Cavaliers, Suns, and Warriors, sets Oklahoma City apart. Overcoming the pressure of hostile crowds, the Thunder’s road success has played a pivotal role in their current standing in the Western Conference. If this trend continues, it bodes well for the team’s prospects throughout the season.