Oklahoma City Thunder 103-97 Philadelphia 76ers
This was a tough first game for the Thunder. We have a team in Oklahoma City this year that has a ton of new faces including two new starters and a position change for Andre Roberson. Rookie Domantas Sabonis and 3rd year man Victor Oladipo got their first starts in the orange and blue of Oklahoma City. The Thunder got off to a slow start against the young, lottery riddled 76ers. Going into halftime the Thunder were tied with a team that won just 10 games last season. By the end of the third quarter the Thunder found themselves down 6 points. But on the back of a strong fourth quarter the Thunder squeaked out a 6 point win. The 76ers got an impressive performance from Joel EMbiid in his NBA debut. Embiid scored 20 points on 6-16 shooting, while also pulling down 7 boards in just 22 minutes of game action. Russell Westbrook nearly logged a season opening triple-double. Westbrook scored 32 points (11-21; 1-2), grabbed 12 rebounds, and dished out 9 assists. Enes Kanter managed another Thunder double-double in 24 minutes off the bench. He scored 17 points and pulled down 12 rebounds on an efficient 7-14 shooting. Steven Adams also scored in double digits with 16 on 7-16 shooting. He also had 5 rebounds. Victor Oladipo had a less than stellar Thunder debut. He scored just 10 points on a relatively terrible 4-16 shooting. He did however show up late in the fourth quarter making key defensive plays - including drawing a charge late in the quarter.
Oklahoma City Thunder 113-110 Phoenix Suns (OT)
This game was a thriller to entertain the first Thunder home crowd of the 2016-2017 season. Unfortunately, the Thunder got off to another slow start. The Suns outscored the Thunder 40-25 in the first quarter. The Suns couldn’t miss a shot. Behind Russell Westbrook’s back-breaking - if inefficient - 51 point, 13 rebound, and 10 assist triple-double the Thunder managed to make another comeback win. This was the first 50 point triple-double since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had one in 1975. Victor Oladipo had a much better second game for the Thunder. He finished with 21 points and 5 rebounds. Oladipo and Westbrook were the only Thunder players to score double digits. In an interesting turn of events, Kyle Singler ended up with the highest plus/minus score for the Thunder logging a +21. The Thunder showed a weakness when it came to perimeter defense though. T.J. Warren scored 30 points. Eric Bledsoe finished with 17. Devin Booker scored 21, and Brandon Knight scored 19.
Oklahoma City Thunder 113-96 Los Angeles Lakers
The Thunder moved to 3-0 in the opening week after defeating the LA Lakers on the first Sunset Sunday of the season. This was the first game in which the Thunder looked like a complete team. Russell Westbrook logged his second triple-double of the season in an efficient fashion. He scored 33, grabbed 12 rebounds, and dished out an impressive 16 assists. Victor Oladipo still hasn’t found his shooting touch but he did manage to score 20 points. Steven Adams recorded his first double-double of the season on 14 points and 12 rebounds. Enes Kanter scored 16 points on an incredibly efficient 8-11 shooting and grabbed 6 rebounds in just 22 minutes of game time. Kanter and Domantas Sabonis were the only Thunder players to have a negative plus/minus score. Ersan Ilyasova managed a +8 despite missing every shot he took and failing to score a single point.
The Thunder have had trouble finding the stroke from beyond the three point line. After the first 3 games of the season, the Thunder are shooting a dismal .290 from deep.
There is good news though, Thunder fans. Victor Oladipo and Steven Adams both re-signed with the team. Oladipo signed a 4 year/$84 million contract extension, while the Big Kiwi signed for 4 years/$100 million.
Forever and always, Thunder up!
P.S. Salutations, mate! Fare thee well.