Recreation Recap: Thunder 101, Knicks 89

    The Thunder bounced again after a gradual begin offensively and imposed a smothering protection to select up its second consecutive win. With the assistance of a standout efficiency from Hamidou Diallo in his hometown, the Thunder emerged victors on the earth’s most well-known area.

    It was a frigid begin offensively for each groups. Within the first 4 minutes, the Knicks had been taking pictures 33 p.c from the sector (3-of-9) whereas the Thunder solely sank one in all its first eight buckets and was 0-of-4 from behind the arc. Early on, it was massive man Al Horford who saved the Thunder alive scoring the Thunder’s first seven factors of the sport.

    Regardless of the gradual begin, the Thunder’s second unit as soon as once more offered a a lot wanted and well timed increase of power spearheaded by the efforts of third-year guard Hamidou Diallo. The Thunder’s high-flyer scored on a pair of back-to-back drives to the lane injecting the proper quantity of verve into the Thunder’s offense. After trailing by 14 factors, the reserves strung collectively consecutive stops on the defensive finish and translated them into buckets on offense to convey the sport to 1 level. By the tip of the evening, the Thunder’s reserves would outscore the Knicks’ bench 48-24.

    “We clearly received off to a gradual begin and [the second unit] got here in once more to alter the sport for us. They actually amped it up after which we carried that by way of the remainder of the sport,” mentioned Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault. “Hami was actually good. I am actually blissful for him. He is residence and he actually performed properly tonight.”

    Diallo completed the evening registering a season-high 23 factors to go alongside 11 rebounds, additionally a season-high. The Queens native appeared to be in his component has he pushed the tempo in transition off of a defensive board and showcased his explosiveness and velocity to get to the rim.

    “It’s nice to go on the market and compete and simply go away it on the ground,” mentioned Diallo. “Coach has been preaching us to have a 0-0 mentality each recreation. Data don’t matter, simply go on the market compete and simply attempt to go away it on the ground and I believe that is what we did at this time.”

    “Hami loves the Backyard,” mentioned Gilgeous-Alexander. “That’s when Hami is in his habitat is when he performs again residence and it is a terrific feeling.”

    Horford led the best way at halftime with 15 factors on 3-of-4 from deep, however the recreation was tied at 42.

    After going scoreless within the first half, Julius Randle scored 9 fast factors out of the gate for New York. It was Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for the Thunder who answered every of Randle’s buckets as he cashed in 12 factors within the third on the best way to a game-high 25 factors and 10 rebounds on 3-of-3 from the 3-point line. The third-year guard additionally flirted with a triple-double as he dished out seven assists.

    It wasn’t till the fourth quarter that the Thunder registered a lead bigger than 9 factors due to a smothering, five-man defensive efficiency. The squad strung collectively three-straight possessions with a defensive cease and translating out on the break the opposite approach. Diallo capped off the run with a steal at half court docket from Randle and completed with a simple dunk on the opposite finish. These empty possessions for New York at such a important juncture within the recreation put the entire momentum on the Thunder’s facet en path to a 12-point victory.

    “I assumed we did a terrific job. Not solely with the sport plan however carrying over a few of the issues we realized from the New Orleans recreation,” mentioned Daigneault. “We actually got here in with a excessive stage of focus from the leap so I used to be happy with the best way we did that.”

    “I felt like we did a fairly good job,” mentioned Dort following the sport. “We did job screening and rebounding. General, it was good.”

    SGA knew his teammate was thriving in his hometown and wished to assist cap off a terrific efficiency with an exclamation level. So, after breaking free from the token full-court press that the Knicks deployed with lower than a minute on the clock, Gilgeous-Alexander burst throughout the half-court line and observed his former faculty teammate on the opposite facet of the rim.

    SGA floated the ball in a excessive arc above the rim the place solely Diallo may elevate and jam it by way of the cylinder. In a becoming last bucket of the Thunder’s evening, the workforce’s two main scorers and double-double recorders related on a stunning play to place a bow on a well-earned victory.

    “I pushed the tempo just a little bit, noticed him on the bottom and simply tried to throw it as excessive as I may with it nonetheless being in his attain. So he may rise up and go get it, and he did.”

    “It was nice. I’ve seen lots of people joke round like I do not get above the rim anymore,” mentioned the previous NBA Slam Dunk Champion with a playful smile. “I imply it is nice to only finish it like that, simply confirmed that I am nonetheless succesful; I simply select to not typically. It was nice.”


    The Thunder out rebounded the Knicks 62-48 with each Diallo and Gilgeous-Alexander registering double-digit boards. Towards a New York workforce who touts dimension within the paint with 7-foot Mitchell Robinson and 6-foot-9 Julius Randle, the Thunder proved its toughness and physicality to win the rebounding battle.

    “One of many issues we deal with each recreation is rebounding,” mentioned Gilgeous-Alexander who snatched down 10 boards. “Not giving groups second probability factors or giving them extra alternatives on the basket. That is a simple approach to not get the end result you need is giving them extra pictures on the aim. That’s simply one of many issues on an extended listing of issues we wish to deal with earlier than the sport and we received it performed tonight.”

    Théo Maledon

    “It actually implies that we will rely on quite a lot of guys to boost the extent or take one of the best ways to be aggressive ­– first unit and second unit. I believe that’s one factor that exhibits that and we’ve received to maintain going.”

    –Théo Maledon

    “We simply keep it up it doesn’t matter what it’s. Stand up early, get down early, Coach all the time says it’s a 48-minute recreation plain and easy. Figuring out that if we belief the method, convey power defensively and play the precise approach offensively issues will work out.”

    –Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

    After 4 video games on the highway, the Thunder will wrap up its East Coast highway journey with a tilt in opposition to Brooklyn on Sunday. The Thunder will then return to Chesapeake Vitality Area to open up a four-game residence stand starting with the Spurs on Tuesday.

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