The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the 76ers 133-114 in Philadelphia on Thursday night in the second game of a long road trip. The win pushes OKC’s season record to 19-23.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was, unsurprisingly, the Thunder’s leading scorer once again, tallying 37 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two blocks and one steal. For the 76ers, Joel Embiid led the way with 30 points and 10 rebounds.
The Thunder opened the game with an impressives showing from beyond the arc, knocking down four triples on the way to a 16-7 lead less than five minutes into the contest.
Philly wasted no time mounting a comeback, however, tying the game at 28 later in the first quarter. At the end of the opening frame, Oklahoma City and Philadelphia were tied at 35.
Gilgeous-Alexander was the game’s leading scorer after one, going 5-of-7 for 13 points, two rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal. Rookie big man Jaylin Williams pitched in seven first-quarter points, shooting 3-of-4 from the field.
Early in the second quarter, 20-year-old Josh Giddey knocked down a 3-pointer that kicked off an 14-2 run by the Thunder, giving OKC a 54-41 lead. Second-year guard Tre Mann scored eight consecutive points for Oklahoma City, including a crafty finish at the rim between multiple defenders.
A quick seven point run by James Harden quickly cut OKC’s lead to six, but a triple from Lindy Waters III with less than five seconds left in the half gave the Thunder a 67-57 advantage heading into the break. The former Thunder guard completed a four-point play as part of his brief offensive explosion, the second that Oklahoma City has allowed in as many games.
Embiid scored only 10 points in the first half, going 4-of-8 from the field. The all-star big man only played 10 minutes in the opening 24 minutes after picking up his third foul early in the second quarter.
Two buckets from Embiid and a triple from Harden brought the 76ers within three less than two minutes into the half, causing Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault to call a timeout. Embiid knocked down a pair of free throws a moment later to tie the game at 67.
After a 3-pointer from Philly, Jalen Williams dished out a dime to Jaylin Williams for an emphatic slam dunk that stopped a 13-0 Philadelphia run. Both squads continued to battle, with Jalen Williams knocking down a shot from beyond the arc to give OKC a 76-75 lead midway through the period.
The Thunder rebuilt their lead quickly behind a corner three from Mike Muscala and a floater at the elbow from Giddey, causing the 76ers to take a timeout of their own. Oklahoma CIty’s hot streak continued, and after triples from Mann and Muscala as well as a steal and slam dunk from Isaiah Joe, OKC led 97-80 with less than two minutes left in the third quarter. After scoring 34 points in the final eight minutes of the third quarter, Philly trailed the Thunder 101-85 heading into the final frame.
In the beginning of the fourth quarter, Oklahoma City picked up where they left off, and with just over six minutes left in the game, OKC held a 114-99 advantage over Philadelphia. In about 30 seconds, however, the 76ers scored five quick points to cut the Thunder lead to 10, causing Daigneault to call another timeout.
Philly came within six of Oklahoma City, but a layup from Giddey and two free throws from Gilgeous-Alexander put OKC back up by double digits. With the Thunder up 12, Gilgeous-Alexander stole the ball from Embiid, who fouled SGA trying to recover.
This proved to be the dagger, as Oklahoma city went on to knock off the 76ers, xxx-xxx
The Thunder are back in action tomorrow night against the Chicago Bulls at 7 P.M. CT in Chicago.