The Thunder pulled off an upset win by beating the Nuggets at Ball Arena 107-119. Those of Oklahoma City gave the surprise to end the streak of six consecutive victories of the locals, who stumbled when they least expected it after having won nine of their last ten games. In this way, the Denver team suffers a setback in their dispute for fifth place in the West, wasting the opportunity to return to a tie with the Mavericks in said place.
The clash moved on fairly even terms for many minutes, but the visitors’ big final stretch allowed them to take it away. Daigneult’s men signed a 6-20 run in the last quarter that allowed them to put themselves with a 15-point advantage, hitting the table and distancing themselves enough to even allow themselves a quiet game closure.
9 points in that quarter came from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who finished as the game’s top scorer with 29. The point guard, who also added 7 rebounds and 5 assists, was well supported by Isaiah Roby’s 26, who He signed his scoring record thanks in part to his excellent success in the outside shot, as he finished with a 4/5 in triples with which he punished the spaces given up by the Nuggets defense.
In these, Nikola Jokic was the only starter to reach double figures, which meant that he had to pull the bandwagon alone on many occasions. The Serbian, with 22 points, 16 rebounds and 4 assists, was once again the best of his team, but he was not able to save the ballot due to the poor contribution of the men around him. He did find more help in the second unit, in which Bones Hyland and Bryn Forbes stood out with 19 and 18 points respectively, and in fact it was the bench men who worked best, but it was not enough to maintain the winning streak.
“The stat table speaks for itself. The starters have hit a 3-pointer in 25 attempts and all have finished +/- less than -20,” Malone said. “Luckily we have our second unit, who has brought us back into the game both in the first half and in the second. The starting lineup was not good today.”
(Cover photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)