Thunder Find Offensive Groove to Win Game 4

After scoring 60 points in the first 35 minutes, the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied with 40 more in the last 13 minutes to win Game 4, 100-96.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was a standout with 34 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals, and two blocks. Cason Wallace also played a key role by finishing the game strong over Josh Giddey.

Thunder’s Regular Season Success

Throughout the season, the Thunder excelled with a five-out offense that focused on spacing and driving. They led the NBA in drives and three-point percentage. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had plenty of room to maneuver thanks to his teammates’ positioning. This strategy helped them achieve an impressive offensive rating of 118.3.

However, things changed in the playoffs. The New Orleans Pelicans managed to limit their effectiveness despite missing Zion Williamson. Now facing the Dallas Mavericks, who have a stronger defense (111.2 defensive rating), Oklahoma City struggled even more offensively (108.1 offensive rating).

Mavericks’ Defensive Strategy

Dallas has been using Daniel Gafford and Dereck Lively III as roaming defenders since Game 1’s second half. This tactic disrupts Oklahoma City’s spacing and makes it hard for them to drive or pass effectively.

The Thunder’s main ball-handlers like Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams aren’t great at making skip passes that could shift defenses quickly. This has turned their usually smooth offense into something choppy and hesitant.

To counter this, Oklahoma City tried placing someone in the dunker spot instead of sticking strictly to their five-out principles. While this change aimed to make passing easier inside, it hasn’t solved their problems because Gafford and Lively are too dominant defensively.

I think it’s fascinating how small changes can make such a big difference in games like these.

Game 4 Struggles

In Monday’s Game 4 first half, Oklahoma City scored just 43 points and trailed by 11 at halftime due to these struggles. Things didn’t improve immediately after halftime either; Dallas extended their lead further before OKC found its rhythm again late in third quarter through fourth quarter comeback efforts led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s stellar performance during those crucial moments where he scored vital points while also assisting teammates effectively which eventually helped turn things around for them leading up till final whistle blowing signaling victory secured tightly within grasp once more! 🏀

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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