Lu Dort Continues His Great Play; Here Are The 3 Things That Went Well For The Team – BlackSportsOnline
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Lu Dort Continues His Great Play; Here Are The 3 Things That Went Well For The Team

Oklahoma City – The Thunder hosted the Rockets tonight after losing 2 straight and wanted to get back in the win column before they hit the road for a 3 game road trip.

There was a little extra added motive tonight because the the last time these two teams played the Rockets put an absolute beating on the Thunder. Rockets won 124-91 and it was by far the worst game for the Thunder this season and one of the worst for a while.

It was a perfect night for the Thunder to get a win and that they did. It was a wall to wall win for the team because the Rockets didn’t lead at all. The Thunder were pretty good on offense but shined on the defensive end of the floor.

They could have easily folded tonight but instead showed everyone them and the Rockets don’t belong in conversation or tiers when it comes to “bad” teams.

The Thunder win was never in doubt and they beat the Rockets 101-89. Here are the 3 things that went well for the team.

1) LUGUENTZ DORT

Over the last 5 games, Lu Dort has averaged 25 points and 5 rebounds while shooting 60%. He had 34 points and 8 rebounds tonight and shot 64% from the floor. He has been BALLING. Lu has carried the team offensively recently while playing great defense. He’s been doing it all. Dort has been the guy they can go to and say go get a bucket lately and that is what happened tonight. Shai didn’t have it going because he only shot 6-18 but Dort was there to pick up the slack. It has been great to see how he’s been letting the game come to him and not force the issue. If he continues this play and becomes more consistent on offense to go along with his great defense, the Thunder better get that checkbook ready because he’s going to get $100+ if that’s the case.

2) Took Care Of The Ball

The Thunder have been a little careless with the ball the last few games including a season high in turnovers a couple nights ago against the Heat. They did a much better job tonight. The box score says they had 14 turnovers but it was really 13 because the last one was them letting the shot clock run out on their last possession when the game was in hand. They didn’t give the Rockets many chances to get out and run and get points in the fast break like they want to which hurt their offense. This was a huge key to the game because once the Rockets get going it’s hard to slow them down and the game becomes a shootout. Hopefully this continues.

3) They Were Lock Down

Anytime you hold a NBA team to under 100 points in today’s NBA you played some great defense. The Thunder not only held the Rockets to under 100 points, they held them under 90 which is extremely impressive. The Rockets don’t have the best offense and they only average 100 points a game but the Thunder are a young team and young teams aren’t typically good on defense but the Thunder are. They did a great job on the Rockets best player Christian Wood who shot 4-16 and particularly did a great job defending him in the paint because he only shot 4-11. Right now, the Thunder have the 12th best defense in the league which is already impressive but if you take out the first two games where they were still trying to figure out their defensive identity, the Thunder have the 9th best defense. If they keep this up they won’t be in contention to draft either of the guys at the top of the draft in the off season.

The Thunder were led by Lu Dort who had his second career 30+ point game with his 34 points and 8 rebounds. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander didn’t shoot well but did everything else really well and had 15 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals. Josh Giddey had his second career double double with 14 points and 11 rebounds and continues to be the youngest player in Thunder history with a double double. Jeremiah Robinson Earl had another decent game with his 8 points and 9 rebounds while Darius Bazley had 7 points and 8 rebounds.

The team will look to continue this on the road when the face the defending champ Bucks in the first night of a back to back on Friday night.

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