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Five takeaways from the Thunder's 114-107 win at Detroit

The Thunder beat the Pistons 114-107 Wednesday, to kick off a three-game road trip and end a two-game skid.

Here are five takeaways from the game: 

Guards get it started

The three Thunder point guards shared the scoring responsibility in the first half. Feeding the hot hand meant getting the ball to all three. 

Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schorder combined to score 37 points on 15-of-18 shooting before the intermission. Seven of those shots were from 3-point range, but the trio did just as much damage in the paint, where the Thunder made 17 of its 22 field goal attempts.

Gilgeous-Alexander surged ahead of the rest in the second half. He scored 13 points in the third quarter alone, to finish the night with a team-leading 27 points.

Shooting slowly recovers

For the first time in three games, the Thunder was playing a defense outside of the top five. It’s offense responded accordingly.

OKC’s shooting has steadily improved since its 133-86 loss at Milwaukee Friday. The Thunder shot just 36.3 percent from the floor and 17.1 percent from 3-point range in that game. Then, against the Clippers, OKC shot 42percent from the floor and 32.1 percent from beyond the arc.

The Thunder broke out of its two-game losing streak on Wednesday with a 61 percent shooting performance. OKC shot 41.7 percent from deep. The Thunder was even more efficient in the first half, shooting 69 percent from the floor and 57.1 percent from 3-point range.

Taking advantage of turnovers

Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari stepped in front of the pass by Jordan McRae and reeled it in. McRae, who had committed a turnover in the Pistons’ previous possession, fouled Gallinari. 

It was Gallinari’s third steal of the first half and second in a matter of seconds. 

OKC scored 26 points off 17 Pistons turnovers Wednesday. It scored 20 of those points in the first half. 

The Thunder, which committed just five turnovers in the first half, turned the ball over 11 times after the intermission. The Pistons used that influx to overtake OKC in the fourth quarter.

Sharing the ball

Schroder caught a bounce pass from Nerlens Noel, as the Thunder guard cut to the basket. But instead of shooting, Schroder dished the ball to rookie Luguentz Dort. That gave Dort an open dunk.

That assist in the first quarter was just one of Schroder’s nine Wednesday. He tied his season high.

Close finish

Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk drained a 3-pointer from the right corner, and suddenly the Thunder’s 16-point advantage had completely dissolved. Detroit took a 103-102 lead with 4:27 left in the game, with a barrage of 3-pointers.

It was the Pistons’ first lead since the first quarter.

So, the Thunder headed clutch time yet again.

With 22 seconds left, Danilo Gallianri scored a 3-pointer to widen the Thunder’s lead to four points.

Related Photos
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drives on Detroit Pistons forward Tony Snell (17) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drives on Detroit Pistons forward Tony Snell (17) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d304d4128169229d63db61db31dd36a9.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drives on Detroit Pistons forward Tony Snell (17) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drives on Detroit Pistons forward Tony Snell (17) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drives on Detroit Pistons forward Tony Snell (17) in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)</figcaption></figure>
Maddie Lee

Maddie Lee followed an NBA team from Seattle to Oklahoma City, she just took a 10-year detour in between. Lee joined the Oklahoman in October 2018 as a Thunder beat writer, fresh off a stint in Oxford, Miss., where she covered Ole Miss for the... Read more ›

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