Oklahoma City Thunder Solidifying Rise As Real NBA Title Contenders

Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA News
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The Oklahoma City Thunder recently added another remarkable victory to their impressive record, overcoming the Boston Celtics, who hold the NBA’s best record, with a close 127-123 triumph on Tuesday night.

Oklahoma City, boasting a notable performance in their last nine games with eight wins, now holds the second spot in the Western Conference with a 23-9 record. This successful run includes significant wins over top teams, such as the conference-leading Minnesota Timberwolves and Celtics, and twice defeating the reigning champions, the Denver Nuggets, on their home court.

Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis, despite his stellar 34-point, 10-rebound effort in the game, acknowledged the Thunder’s skill, denying any notion of the game being a mere fluke. He highlighted the Thunder’s position at the top of the Western Conference, making them formidable opponents.

“That’s a talented young team, and I don’t believe this was some fluke game for them,” Porzingis said. “They’ve been playing really well. They’re at the top of the West, no? So a really good team to go up against and a really good experience for us.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren, Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder Updates

The Thunder’s recent victories include a dominant 23-point home win against the Timberwolves and a 26-point victory over the Nuggets on the road. They nearly secured another decisive win against the Celtics, leading by 18 points in the fourth quarter.

The young Oklahoma City team, which improved by 14 wins last season, is emerging as a potential contender. They currently have the fourth-best record in the league, ranking third in net rating, fourth in defensive rating, and fifth in offensive rating.

Chet Holmgren, a top contender for Rookie of the Year, commented on the team’s focus on winning and teamwork. He expressed that while the current success is promising, it’s still early in the season and they have much to learn.

“It says that we’re really playing together and we’re prioritizing winning over anything else,” Holmgren said. “But as far as long term, it doesn’t really prove anything, I guess you could say, or it doesn’t kind of satisfy anybody.

“We know we have a long ways to go. We’re at 32 games into the season, so we still have 50 games left. We got a lot of lessons to learn, a lot of lessons we’ve already learned from that we’ve got to kind of keep in the back of our mind.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren, Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder Updates

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, third in league scoring, continued his exceptional performance with 36 points. His crucial contributions in the final quarter, including key assists and a screen that led to critical points, were pivotal in the Thunder’s victory. Coach Mark Daigneault praised Gilgeous-Alexander’s versatility and impact beyond scoring. The team acknowledged the final minutes as challenging but viewed it as a learning experience, aligning with Holmgren’s sentiments.

“He’s learned how to impact the game in other ways, and that’s why he’s a really good player,” Daigneault said of Gilgeous-Alexander. “He’s not just a hired-gun scorer.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren, Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder Updates

Gilgeous-Alexander emphasized staying focused and improving daily, highlighting the team’s commitment to progress and success.

“I think we all stay in the moment and I think that’s why we’ve been able to get better,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “We just stay in the moment, attack the day, attack the program in front of us. Then we all have the right intentions and want to win at the end of the day.”

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