In their first of back-to-back games against the Denver Nuggets this week, the Oklahoma City Thunder pulled off a 108-99 win. It was their first win of the preseason, with just one game remaining.
Darius Bazley got Oklahoma City off to a hot start and they never looked back. In the first quarter, he scored 13 points without missing a single shot from the floor.
It was a game in which the Nuggets played their starters for a good portion of the game, with this young Thunder team shining bright and gaining confidence. In fact, during the final minutes of the game, OKC played all four of their rookies, led by Josh Giddey who took over late.
Giddey finished with 14 points, six rebounds and three assists while shooting 60% from the floor. As he continues to develop, he is showing flashes of being a franchise cornerstone for the Thunder.
Derrick Favors made his preseason debut, showcasing his shooting touch in the mid-range, notching ten points and five board in just 15 minutes of action. As the starting center for the Thunder this season, he will be a key veteran piece.
Overall, it was a great team effort by the Thunder, who were able to pull of a victory with their two best players in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lu Dort combining for only 25 points.
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As the Thunder continue to grow throughout the season, it's games like these that build confidence and a comfort level needed to have success on the floor. It's just preseason action, but is still so crucial for the development of young players.
For Denver, reigning MVP Nikola Jokic led the team with 22 points and 12 rebounds followed by Michael Porter Jr. and Jeff Green, who scored 15 points each.
The Thunder and Nuggets will face off once again on Thursday night in Tulsa. It will be the first back-to-back for many of the young guys on the roster.
"It'll be a good test for me and the other young guys," said Giddey postgame.
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