OKC Thunder: As the offensive hums, Hawks can't keep pace

AP Photo/Kyle Phillips

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shia Gilgeous-Alexander (2) tries to push past Atlanta Hawks forward De'Andre Hunter (12) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, in Oklahoma City.

COMING UP

WEDNESDAY

Cleveland at Oklahoma City

Time: 7 p.m.

Place: Chesapeake Energy Arena

Need to know: This is a night for OKC to take care of business. The Cavs have won just three of their last 19 games.

TV: FSOK

 

FRIDAY 

Detroit at Oklahoma City

Time: 7 p.m.

Place: Chesapeake Energy Arena

Need to know: The same as two nights earlier. The Pistons have lost 7 of 8, making it a game OKC should win.

TV: FSOK

 

SUNDAY

Boston at Oklahoma City

Time: 2:30 p.m.

Place: Chesapeake Energy Arena

Need to know: The Celtics have won 7 of 8. Jason Tatum, 21 years old, in his third NBA season, is coming into his own: 21.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.9 apg.

TV: FSOK

 

TUESDAY

San Antonio at Oklahoma City

Time: 2:30 p.m.

Place: Chesapeake Energy Arena

Need to know: Thunder catch Spurs at the right time, playing their third game in four days and their sixth straight game away from home.

TV: FSOK

 

FOUR KEYS

STAY FOCUSED

• The trade deadline arrives 3 p.m. Thursday, leaving the Thunder with just a single game before it passes. To date, no big trade rumors have included the Thunder, though moves could still be made. Coach Billy Donovan  has done an excellent job, along with his players, of remaining undistracted by trade possibilities. If they can do it for one more game, they can push their current winning streak to three games.

BRING ENERGY

• The Thunder are 24-9 over their last 33 games and have been better on the road (14-3) than at home (10-6). The night Houston visited Chesapeake Energy Arena, OKC made it a point to match Russell Westbrook’s energy and pulled it off, starting fast and winning big. The Thunder’s next four games are at home and if they can bring that same early energy with consistency, they’ll likely keep adding to their win total.

GO WITH LU

• First illness, then personal reasons have left Terrance Ferguson inactive for eight straight games. The Thunder won seven of those. He’s back and available again, but OKC would be wise to stick with two-way-contract man Lu Dort starting in Ferguson’s old spot. Dort appears to be playing the same strong defense as Ferguson at his best, while shooting 48.1 percent overall and 50 percent from 3-point land over the span. 

FREEBIES

• Of all the isolated numbers defining OKC’s success, free-throw differential may reign supreme. The Thunder make and attempt 19.9 of 24.4 FTs per game, while opponents make and attempt 14.6 of 18.3. It’s like the Thunder spot themselves 5.3 points per game by getting to the foul line more than their opponent. Keep that up and going on a losing streak may be difficult.

  

TEAM NUMBERS

Games: 50 (30-20)

Points/game: 110.5

FG percentage: 47.0

3FG percentage:  35.3

FT percentage: 80.4

Rebounds/game: 43.4

Assists/game: 22.2

Turnovers/game: 13.8

Opp. Points/game: 107.9

Opp. FG percentage: 45.6

Opp. 3FG percentage: 34.3

Opp FT percentage: 79.5

Opp. Rebounds/game: 44.3

Opp. Assists/game: 22.7

Opp. Turnovers/game: 14.0

 

THE SLATE

   1: Oct. 23 at Utah, L, 100-95

   2: Oct. 25 Washington, L, 97-85

   3: Oct. 27 Golden State, W, 120-92

   4: Oct. 28 at Houston, L, 116-112

   5: Oct. 30 Portland, L, 102-99

   6: Nov. 2 New Orleans, W, 115-104

   7: Nov. 5 Orlando, W, 102-94

   8: Nov. 7 at San Antonio, L, 121-112

   9: Nov. 9 Golden State, W, 114-108

10: Nov. 10 Milwaukee, L, 121-119

11: Nov. 12 at Indiana, L, 111-85

12: Nov. 15 Philadelphia, W, 127-119

13: Nov. 18 at L.A. Clippers, L, 90-88

14: Nov. 19 at L.A. Lakers, L, 112-107

15: Nov. 22 L.A. Lakers, L, 10-127

16: Nov. 25 at Golden State, W, 100-97

17: Nov. 27 at Portland, L, 136-119

18: Nov. 29 New Orleans, W, 109-104

19: Dec. 1 at New Orleans, W, 107-104

20: Dec. 4 Indiana, 7 p.m., L, 107-100

21: Dec. 6 Minnesota, 7 p.m., W, 139-127

22: Dec. 8 at Portland, 8 p.m., W, 108-106

23: Dec. 9 at Utah, 8 p.m., W, 104-90

24: Dec. 11 at Sacramento, L, 94-93

25: Dec. 14 at Denver, L, 110-102

26: Dec. 16 Chicago, W, 109-106

27: Dec. 18 Memphis, W, 126-122

28: Dec. 20 Phoenix, W, 126-108

29: Dec. 22 L.A. Clippers, W, 118-112

30: Dec. 26 Memphis, L, 110-97

31: Dec. 27 at Charlotte, W, 104-102

32: Dec. 29 at Toronto, W, 98-97

33: Dec. 31 Dallas, W, 106-101

34: Jan. 2 at San Antonio, W, 109-103

35: Jan. 4 at Cleveland, W, 106-101

36: Jan. 6 at Philadelphia, L, 120-113

37: Jan. 7 at Brooklyn, W, 111-103

38: Jan. 9 Houston, W, 113-92

39: Jan. 11 L.A. Lakers, L, 125-110

40: Jan. 13 at Minnesota, W, 117-104

41: Jan. 15 Toronto, L, 130-121

42: Jan. 17 Miami, L, 115-108

43: Jan. 18 Portland, W, 119-108

44: Jan. 20 at Houston, W, 112-107

45: Jan. 22 at Orlando, W, 120-114

46: Jan. 24 Atlanta, W, 140-111

47: Jan. 25 at Minnesota, W, 113-104

48: Jan. 27 Dallas, L, 107-97

49: Jan. 29 at Sacramento, W, 120-100

50: Jan. 31 at Phoenix, W, 111-107

51: Feb. 5 Cleveland, 7 p.m.

52: Feb. 7 Detroit, 7 p.m.

53: Feb. 9 Boston, 2:30 p.m.

54: Feb. 11 San Antonio, 7 p.m.

55: Feb. 13 at New Orleans, 7 p.m.

56: Feb. 21 Denver, 7 p.m.

57: Feb. 23 San Antonio, 6 p.m.

58: Feb. 25 at Chicago, 7 p.m.

59: Feb. 27 Sacramento, 7 p.m.

60: Feb. 28 at Milwaukee, 7 p.m.

61: March 3 L.A. Clippers, 7 p.m.

62: March 4 at Detroit, 6 p.m.

63: March 6 at New York, 6:30 p.m.

64: March 8 at Boston, 5 p.m.

65: March 11 Utah, 7 p.m.

66: March 13 Minnesota, 7 p.m.

67: March 15 at Washington, 5 p.m.

68: March 17 at Memphis, 7 p.m.

69: March 18 at Atlanta, 6:30 p.m.

70: March 20 Denver, 7 p.m.

71: March 23 at Miami, 6:30 p.m.

72: March 26 Charlotte, 7 p.m.

73: March 28 at Golden State, 7:30 p.m.

74: March 30 at Denver, 8 p.m.

75: April 1 Phoenix, 7 p.m.

76: April 4 at L.A. Clippers, 2:30 p.m.

77: April 5 at L.A. Lakers, 8:30 p.m.

78: April 7 Brooklyn, 7 p.m.

79: April 10 New York, 7 p.m.

80: April 11 at Memphis, 7 p.m.

81: April 13 Utah, 7 p.m.

82: April 15 at Dallas, 6:30 p.m.


Horning is senior sports columnist for The Norman Transcript, a CNHI LLC publication.

Locations

Recommended for you