OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Thunder kept their collective foot off the gas in a fast-paced, one-game home opener as they handled the Indiana Pacers, 126-106.
With the Thunder gaining confidence in recent weeks, they were able to avoid a narrow loss to the Pacers. This match had ‘trap game’ written all over it and kudos to OKC, they were able to open the game with a 17-1 lead and never looked back.
A historic night of assists helped the Thunder win, as they posted a franchise record 41 assists on 47-of-93 shooting (50.5%). From outside, the Thunder shot 16-of-38 (42.1%) from 3.
It was a team effort as no one hit more than 17 shots and seven of the 11 Thunder players who played scored at least 10 points.
The Pacers never got going because they were missing Tyrese Haliburton. Andrew Nembhard had the most notable game at the end of s
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: B
With the Thunder playing some great team basketball recently, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander decided to take a passive role with 23 points on 7-of-17 shooting. Gilgeous-Alexander also finished with six assists, three rebounds and three assists.
Aside from the tame numbers in the box, Gilgeous-Alexander finished with a game-high 38 in his 30 minutes and was able to get to the free throw line often and shoot 8-of-9 from the line.
Josh Giddey: A-
Josh Giddey continues to play well as he regularly attacks the paint.
Giddey finished with 16 points on 8-12 shooting, 11 assists and six rebounds. Like Gilgeous-Alexander, Giddey played inside the offense and let his teammates cook with the ball.
Lou Dort: A+
Lu Dort had an efficient night on both ends.
Dort finished with 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field and 3-of-5 from 3. Dort also added 11 rebounds and collected a double-double performance.
Both Buddy Hield and Bennedict Mathurin had uncharacteristically quiet nights. Hield finished with three points on 1-of-4 shooting from three, and Mathurin — a Montreal native — finished with 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting.
Kenrich Williams: A
With the Thunder passing the ball, Kenrich Williams had a career night.
Williams, who started as a small-ball five, finished with 12 points and a career-high 10 assists.
Williams continues to be a key part of OKC’s success as he plays a key role. While he’s known for being a cheater and taking extra steps, it’s also important to acknowledge that Williams is also a skilled basketball player.
The story originally appeared on Thunder Wire