Game 26 Recap: Thunder (12-14) def. Bulls (10-19) 109-106natashapanchal.com

Game 26 Recap: Thunder (12-14) def. Bulls (10-19) 109-106

Official Box Score link

Negative asset, huh?

The aging superstar that supposedly no team wants to trade for just led the biggest comeback in Thunder history.

Chris Paul put up a Russell Westbrook stat line with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists.

He also put up a Steph Curry stat line by drilling 6 of 8 shots from long distance.

And he put up a Kobe Bryant stat line by scoring 19 points in the 4th quarter.

The Clutch Paul final period completed a 26 point comeback win against a young but feisty and athletic Bulls team. Chicago completely dominated the Thunder until OKC’s point guard tandem of CP3 and Dennis Schroder took matters into their own hands and closed the third quarter on a 17-5 run. That spurt reduced a 20 point lead to 8 points headed into the fourth quarter, and it just felt then like Paul and the Thunder were going to cook up some Loud City magic.

The final 12 minutes of the game were just a raucous highlight reel of Chris Paul 3’s, Steven Adams rebounds, and Thunder fans absolutely losing their minds. This underdog team with no quit in them has an underdog city’s fanbase falling for them more after every double digit comeback victory and every nail-biting hard fought 1 point loss.

We don’t know what the rest of this season holds. The December 15th free agents-can-be-traded-date (we gotta come up with a name for this) has come and gone, and Chris Paul, Danilo Gallinari, Steven Adams, Dennis Schroder, and Nerlens Noel are still on the team. That could change at any moment. Shams says that OKC is looking to take on bad contracts. Woj says that the Thunder are looking to push for the playoffs and will look to make deals in the summer. Sam Presti has options.

But whatever happens, this team has far exceeded expectations this season. They’ve been better than Thunder fans thought they’d be. They’ve been more fun than Thunder fans thought they’d be.

And Thunder fans have become more attached than they thought they’d be.

Notes:

  • The Bulls outscored the Thunder 37-16 in the first quarter. OKC outscored Chicago in every following quarter.
  • Danilo Gallinari rebounded from his awful night in Denver (he only made one field goal!) by scoring 22 points tonight. Gallo singlehandedly kept the Thunder within striking range, well as much as a 26 point deficit can be in range, in the first half.
  • The Thunder are once again tied for the 7th seed in the Western Conference. And the next two games are at home against the Grizzlies and Suns. There’s a very real chance that OKC can reach .500 with a 14-14 record on Friday night.
  • It’s unreal that in a rebuilding/transition season like this one that the Thunder are breaking records like the biggest comeback in franchise history. It takes a special kind of character and makeup for a team to fight back from 26 points to win.
  • Schroder has scored 17 or more points in nine straight games, the longest streak in the league for bench players. We really haven’t given Schroder his proper due for the season he’s producing. Gut gemacht, Dennis.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored in single digits for the first time in his Thunder tenure. SGA finished with 7 points, but on only three shots. He took a bit of a backseat on Paul’s historic night, but Shai still made a clutch basket and rebound that were important in deciding the game.
  • Steven Adams hit the game winning free throw by banking it off the backboard. If I was a fan of the Bulls, I’d be sick. If it was pickup basketball, I’d be moaning that he didn’t call glass and whine about losing on a trash shot. But since Adams is on my team, I thought it was awesome and totally deserved.  
  • Schroder trolling teammates who are doing their post-game interviews after wins is becoming a new Thunder tradition.
  • Adams’ post-game interview with Nick Gallo discussing his free throw to win the game: “Yeah, I absolutely… shit… my pants.”
  • It’ll go down in Thunder lore as one of the best, but I still gotta give the title of best post-game interview happy cursing to Melo for “Ahhhh mother**cker shiiiiiiiit!”
  • Both the Thunder and Rockets had their biggest all time comebacks on the same night. OKC’s main exports: oil, wheat, and clutch point guards.
  • I’d like to take this opportunity to promote something exciting coming this week to Daily Thunder: a brand new podcast! If you remember Mr. Presti’s Neighborhood, it’s the same team, plus Cray Allred and minus John Napier. So what I’m saying is, the show has been upgraded.

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