Jalen Johnson puts an end to the Thunder
One night after beating Boston, the Thunder showed up at State Farm Arena knowing this could be their night to become leaders of the West. That's why what happened was more painful. Daigneault's team fell to Atlanta 141-138 and will have to sleep a few more days behind the Timberwolves, where they found the good side of the Hawks and the best version of Jalen Johnson who continues to assert himself as one of the big surprises of the year.
The power forward has been an unexpectedly effective player for Georgia, and he had the opportunity tonight to prove himself with his best performance. With 28 points, Johnson scored a career-high, and showed off his athletic ability to attack the rim and shine in transition, causing problems for the Thunder who had done something better in Back area But they had less response to it. 11 of his goals also came in the final quarter, in which he knew how to act to avoid a comeback from the visitors that would have been a very heavy blow for Snyder's team.
Atlanta led by 21 points in the second quarter and started the fourth quarter with a 16-point lead, but they were not far from letting that advantage disappear due to OKC's hunger. In fact, the Hawks promised themselves thrilled until just two-and-a-half minutes from the end, when a 139-124 score finally seemed to give them a peaceful win, but the final stretch of 2-14 came close to giving it all away for the team. The most unpredictable way.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams, who combined for 22 points in the fourth quarter (10 and 12, respectively), began scoring compulsively on the final possession and turned a seemingly settled duel into an even finish from one moment to the next, the point at which the Thunder had the ball to force overtime. After a very good play on the scoreboard, Isaiah Joe received the ball into the corner with time and space to hit a hat-trick that would have given him five minutes of extra time, but as happened with three other of the five hat-tricks he attempted during the night, the ball was cleared by a spat from the edge.
Shay finished with 33 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists, as the best player on the night, but he was unable to prevent the defeat. Go back He burdened his team and cost them their tenth setback in the tournament. One, after the great victory achieved the day before, it would be difficult to outlast them.
(Cover photo: Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)