The young, rebuilding Oklahoma City Thunder just put up one of the greatest scoring efforts in recent NBA history.
More than that, they did it against the best team in the Eastern Conference and one of the best defenses in the Association, the Boston Celtics.
And to make it even more impressive, they did it as 10.5-point underdogs and without their best player, as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was ruled out with a non-COVID illness shortly before the game.
The OKC Thunder scored a franchise-best 150 points in a 33-point win over the Celtics, with five players topping the 20+ point plateau for the first time in the league since 2019.
Five teammates drop 20+ for the first time in the NBA since 2019 as the @okcthunder score their most-ever points in a game!
Josh Giddey: 25 PTS
Lu Dort: 23 PTS
Jalen Williams: 21 PTS
Tre Mann: 21 PTS
Isaiah Joe: 21 PTS
— NBA (@NBA) January 4, 2023
“It’s a great zero and zero game,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said after the win. “For us internally — I don’t know how to explain the greater narrative of it — but for us internally it’s being able to drill down the fundamentals that can help you do that. What we did tonight is not anything outside of what we can control, other than the shotmaking.”
The young Thunder have to be feeling great about themselves right now.
Regardless of their record, they’ve shown that they can go toe-to-toe with any team in the league when they’re inspired, and they haven’t even had second-overall pick Chet Holmgren on the floor.
Of course, they’re still a ways away from going back to championship contention, but they’ve put together a promising young core that doesn’t want to know anything about tanking, and is only trying to compete hard night in and night out.