Once a year, the Thunder plays a preseason game in Tulsa’s BOk Center, and the T-Town crowds are always appreciative, especially if OKC does well, which they did today, struggling a bit at first but settling down in the third quarter to the task of waxing the Atlanta Hawks, which they did to the tune of 113-94, pulling OKC’s somewhat meaningless preseason record up to 2-1.
The NBA requires that a team play at least four of these exhibitions in October, and OKC insists on playing the minimum, presumably to minimize exposure to injuries. They’ve been down that road before, and they may be headed that way this season: Terrance Ferguson, starting at the two in the place of still-ailing Andre Roberson, got bopped on the head early in the first quarter and is now on the NBA’s official Concussion Protocol. That said, the Thunder managed to find holes in the Hawks’ offense, forcing a startling 28 turnovers. (Admittedly, they gave up 21 themselves.) And the zebras were finding excuses to call holding whenever they could, leaving several players in what, were this not the preseason, would be foul trouble.
One more of these to go, Tuesday against Milwaukee.