The Thunder played their first regular season game in front of fans in over 590 days. While the effort was admirable against such a tough opponent, the Thunder ultimately ended up losing this one, 115-103.

The Thunder’s loss to Houston was anything but inspiring. If there’s one thing that can wake a team up, it’s playing in front of the fans in Oklahoma City. It took a while to feel that OKC energy, but a play by Lu Dort in the fourth, hustling to dive on a loose ball, got the Paycom Center on their feet and loud.

SGA would bust out of his mini-slump and The Thunder would threaten a comeback late in the fourth. Ultimately the Sixers pulled away, but this is the kind of effort that will make this young Thunder squad worth watching in 2021-22.

Postgame Thoughts:

  • There’s the SGA we all know and love!
  • Shai: 29 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists in this one. He was much more assertive and looked unguardable by anyone on Philly’s roster.
  • Dort is an energy machine.
  • Lu Dort’s stat line wasn’t anything to bat an eye at, but MAN was he Lu Dorting tonight.
  • The guy just knows the right times to bring the energy. I really think we’ll see a lot of incredible Lu moments this season in front of fans.
  • JOSH GIDDEY: 19 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 steals.
  • That kid is good at basketball.
  • Early in the first, Darius Bazley tried to kill a guy. Not just any guy. He tried to posterize Joel Embiid. I respect the effort.
  • Thunder fans missed being in the arena. They picked up right where they left off: being the best half-court shooting fans in the whole darn league.
  • Midfirst bank is out $20,000 after this shot:
  • Seriously. Add some kind of fan competition to All-Star Weekend. I want to see OKC compete in something this year.
  • The fourth quarter felt like our first “That was special” moment of the season.
  • Moments from Dort, Giddey, and SGA began to put some pressure on the 76ers.
  • It really felt like the Thunder might have a comeback in them.
  • Lu Dort had a hustle moment that really got the arena louder than I thought it could given the size of the crowd at the time.
  • It was the fourth quarter. The Thunder were down 18. Lu wasn’t having it. He was still going 100%.
  • I think Philadelphia felt the threat of a comeback. After a couple easy Thunder buckets, Josh Giddey went up for a dunk and was met with a hard foul from Joel Embiid.
  • Ultimately, nothing flagrant was called, but I thought it looked a little dirty. I’m not sure of the intent, but at the least I thought it would have been reviewed.
  • Seth Curry would hit a three late that really halted things for OKC, killing the Thunder’s momentum.
  • I really hope we see this Thunder more often. The Thunder had no business winning a game against the Philadelphia 76ers, but played like they belonged.
  • I’m still a bit baffled about the minutes situation with a few of the young guys.
  • JRE played 13 minutes. Tre Mann… 9 whole minutes. Ouch.
  • Poku played 6 minutes in this one… Also Interesting.
  • We need a name for the Paycom Center. I still want to call it the Peake because… well… It just sounded cool.
  • The Com? The PC? Blah.
  • Next up: Home vs. The Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.