The Oklahoma City Thunder ended the Los Angeles Clippers' nine-game winning streak with a 134-115 victory on Thursday night. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, with a remarkable 31-point performance, spearheaded the Thunder's triumph.
However, it was Chet Holmgren's audacious self-assisted dunk that truly electrified the game and gave Oklahoma City the lead for good. The pivotal moment came in the third quarter, with Oklahoma City trailing by a single point.
Holmgren deceived Ivica Zubac at the free-throw line before catching his own lob and slamming a two-handed dunk.
Reflecting on his impressive move, Holmgren said, “I don’t know where it came from, really, honestly.Gilgeous-Alexander expressed his awe, noting Holmgren's height advantage and the unexpectedness of the play.
That was like an at-the-park move ... I guess it just happened”.
A Game of Runs and Momentum Shifts
Following Holmgren's play, Oklahoma City ignited a 13-0 run and maintained a double-digit lead for the rest of the game.
Holmgren finished with 23 points, while Lu Dort added 21, contributing to the Thunder's impressive 58.6% shooting from the field. This victory marks Oklahoma City's fifth win in six games, solidifying their position as a formidable contender in the Western Conference.
The Clippers, led by James Harden with 23 points and Paul George with 22, faced the absence of Kawhi Leonard due to injury. Despite taking the lead early in the third quarter, they could not sustain the momentum against the Thunder's onslaught.
Clippers coach Tyronn Lue acknowledged the Thunder's aggressive play, admitting, “They did a good job of just attacking us."The game also featured a heartwarming moment for former Thunder star Russell Westbrook, who received a standing ovation upon entering as a reserve for the Clippers.
Westbrook ended the game with 15 points and 13 rebounds. As the Thunder look ahead, they face the challenge of possibly missing Josh Giddey, who left the game with a sprained left ankle. The Clippers, on the other hand, will be keen to rebound from this setback as they continue their season.