Thunder/Bucks Live Game Blog

Erik Gee

Before Thursday's game with the Sacramento Kings, Billy Donovan said the despite being past the trade deadline and the roster being set; there would be no changes to the Thunder's philosophy on rest.  Donovan is a man of his word, and tonight, when the Thunder play the 50-8 Bucks Danilo Gallinari, will set out. 

Gallinari's official injury is left ankle soreness, but Gallinari hasn't played the second game of a back to back all season.  Darius Bazley will not be rushed back per Donovan, he's responding well to the treatment from the Thunder medical staff and is currently doing some stationary shooting. 

For Milwaukee Kyler Korver, and Khris Middleton are both out; Middleton with Neck soreness and Korver with back soreness. Giannis Antetokounmpo might also have a sore back but, he's not going to miss a chance to shine on ESPN. 

You can bet that  Antetokoumpo will have a significant chip on his should after James Harden's latest comments. In case you missed it, in a recent interview with Rachel Nichols, Haren said this about the reigning MVP "I wish I could just run, run and was 7 feet and run and just dunk. That takes no skill at all. I've got to actually learn how to play basketball and how to have skill. You know? I'll take that any day."  

Thanks a lot, James. Do you think maybe you can wait till March 25th (when the Bucks and Rockets play again) to anger one of the NBA's best players?  

The Bucks are 35-5 since Thanksgiving the Thunder 31-11; tipoff is a 7 on ESPN. 

First Quarter:

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander getting things started with a three. Diallo is getting the start tonight with Gallinari and Bazley both being out. 

Adams out, Noel in,  Diallo with three fouls gives us a  Deonte Burton sighting. Billy Donovan says he is comfortable playing anyone on his roster.  I don't know if I believe that comment entirely, but it's also not like you have a choice. I also follow the belief that when you're a professional at anything, you are always prepared.  

Bucks on a 9-0 run. Hamidou Diallo's stat line, zero points, three fouls, a turnover, and he is -1. 

Schroder and Nader enter the game, despite the early foul trouble, the Thunder aren't showing a lack of energy.  Muscala also in the game, Thunder playing small.

Nader is showing some hustle running down a loose ball and drawing the foul on Robin Lopez. 

Back to the lack of energy, something to watch is how the Thunder is shooting the ball.  Oklahoma City is 8 of 20 from the field. Beautiful drive to the bucket by Muscala, even if he didn't finish, but I want to see him be more aggressive on his picks. 

31-24 Bucks at the end of the first quarter. Thunder 40 percent from the floor, 33 percent from beyond the arc, Giannis 9 points 5 rebounds. 

Second Quarter:

Bucks up 10, 40-30. Chris Paul is a tough guy, but I don't care how tough you are running into Giannis when he sets a pick has to hurt like heck. 

Remember when the Thunder were going to trade for Booke Lopez? Ok, I won't mention that again the rest of the game. 

Paul sold that that offensive foul. There is no way he was hit hard enough to fall to the floor. 

12 players have seen action for the Thunder tonight. 

Giannis is abusing whoever is on him. That's not a shock, but, if the Thunder are going to stay in this game, they will have to extend possessions. Right now, the Bucks are doubling up the Thunder on the boards. 32-14, 24 of Milwaukee's rebounds are on the defensive end. 

Thunder 8 of 18 from three.  

Steven Adams getting called for a tech? For what? No, wait, Chris Paul gets called for the tech. Again for what? 

25-4 Run for the Bucks to end the second quarter.  Thunder are 55 percent from the floor but are being outrebounded 33-15.  The Bucks have 25 defensive rebounds, the Thunder just 2 offensive rebounds. Giannis 24 points, 10 rebounds, 10 of 14 shooting. Not a single Thunder player is in double digits. 

Third Quarter:

Took Diallo all of 2 and a half minutes to pick up his fourth foul. Noel back in, Thunder are going to need him to be big this half. 

Robin Lopez with his fifth foul. 

Second of a back to back against the NBA's best team who hasn't played in what looks like a month, yeah, that's a recipe for a loss. 

Good timeout by Billy Donovan, the Thunder have been sloppy this quarter.

The Thunder facing their largest deficit of the season. 39 points.  The Bucks are on a 15-0 run.  

If you have opted to watch Netflix might I recommend Ozark? 

Fourth Quarter

It's time to start working on the game story. I have to wonder if it wouldn't have been better to start Gallinari and not stick to the normal rest schedule.