In Friday night’s contest against the Detroit Pistons, the Oklahoma City Thunder fell short once again, increasing their losing streak to nine.
Oklahoma City led most of the first half, but by halftime let Detroit tie the game at 56 behind 15 points from Josh Jackson. Darius Bazley came out of the gates hot with ten points in the first quarter on 5-for-9 shooting from the floor.
“We gotta be ready from the jump,” said Bazley “Insert ourselves on the defensive end.”
After a slow start offensively, Lu Dort picked up where he left off the past few games offensively and led the Thunder with 11 first half points. After a solid third quarter for the Pistons, they extended a seven point lead heading into the final quarter.
Oklahoma City had a great start to the final frame, chipping away at Detroit's lead, getting within one point in the final minutes. However, when the final buzzer went off, the score read 110-104 in favor of the Pistons.
Once again, Thunder centers Moses Brown and Tony Bradley were extremely efficient, combining for 23 points and 13 boards as a duo. While Jackson led all scorers with 29 points and was a key piece of Detroit’s success, Dort led Oklahoma City with 26, notching his second-straight 20-point game. Bazley ultimately finished with 19 points, 6 rebounds and two assists on the night.
Yet again, the Thunder struggled from beyond the arc, shooting just .179 from three on 39 attempts. Their turnover concerns continued into Friday night as well, committing 21 in the game. Overall, the offense just wasn’t there for Oklahoma City, with the opening quarter being their own 30-point quarter of the night. On the flip side, the Thunder defense allowed their opponent to score 100+ points, continuing the 21-game streak.
“I thought we fought throughout the game,” said Thunder Head Coach Mark Daigneault. “Got ourselves back on track competitively tonight.”
The Oklahoma City Thunder will now hit the road to take on the Toronto Raptors (22-34) on Sunday to wrap up their week. Oklahoma City’s losing streak is now at nine games, their longest since 2008.