Thunder calls up Pokusevski from G League bubble
Aleksej Pokusevski has been called up from the G League bubble, the Thunder announced Friday.
The 19-year-old rookie will rejoin the Thunder after logging 25 minutes per game in 12 starts with the Oklahoma City Blue. Pokusevski averaged 7.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game with the Blue. He shot 31% from the field and 27% from 3-point range.
Getting Pokusevski more playing time was the Thunder’s primary goal in sending him down to the G League.
“His long-term vision is more than just a complementary player in the rotation,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said last month. “We want to explore his game. We want him to have the opportunity to explore his game. And so the idea of him going there is to change the environment, to change the role, and that’s certainly the plan, is to get him there and see what else he can do.”
Pokusevski averaged 17 minutes in 17 games with the Thunder before he was sent down. He shot 25% from the field and 18% from 3-point range. Pokusevski, selected 17th overall in the 2020 NBA Draft, did not attempt a free throw in his 296 minutes played.
The Thunder (15-21) will return from the All-Star break Thursday against the Mavericks.
The Blue (8-6) will play its last regular-season game at 2:30 p.m. Saturday against the Santa Cruz Warriors.
Closing with a comeback
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander banked in a floater, and he gave Luguentz Dort three hard high fives as the Spurs called timeout.
The Thunder started the fourth quarter on a 14-5 run in its 107-102 comeback win Thursday night in San Antonio. OKC outscored San Antonio by 16 points in the second half to overcome what had been a 14-point deficit.
After scoring a career-high 42 points in his last game against the Spurs, Gilgeous-Alexander torched the Spurs yet again with 33 points on 11-of-19 shooting. He added eight assists and three rebounds. It was his seventh 30-point game of the season.
Gilgeous-Alexander drained a clutch 3-pointer to give the Thunder a 102-97 lead with two minutes left.
Gilgeous-Alexander scored his 2,000th point as a Thunder in what was his 100th game with the Thunder.
He became the third-quickest player to reach 2,000 points in a Thunder uniform.
Theo Maledon dished to Isaiah Roby, who was screaming down the middle of the court.
Roby caught the ball in the paint and finished a ferocious right-handed slam over Spurs center Jakob Poeltl.
“Personally, I’ve seen (Isaiah) do a lot more, so I expect him to do that a lot more often,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “But yeah, he’s getting more comfortable by the game.”
Roby, starting for Al Horford (rest), had 12 points and six rebounds in the win.
The Spurs held a 13-1 advantage in points off turnovers in the first half.
Then the game flipped.
The Spurs, who commit the fewest turnovers per game in the NBA (11), were incredibly careless with the ball in the second half. They turned it over seven times in the third quarter and six times in the fourth.
OKC ended up outscoring San Antonio 26-20 in points off turnovers.