OKC Thunder's Young Core Stuns Damian Lillard and Bucks in Preseason

Young Thunder Core Shines Bright in Preseason Showcase.

by Nouman Rasool
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OKC Thunder's Young Core Stuns Damian Lillard and Bucks in Preseason
© Stacy Revere/Getty Images

In a dazzling display of talent and potential, the Oklahoma City Thunder electrified fans and left the NBA world abuzz with their commanding 124-101 preseason victory over the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks at the Paycom Center on Tuesday night.

The spotlight shone brightly on the Thunder's burgeoning young core, comprised of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Chet Holmgren, and Jalen Williams, as they outshone their opponents. Josh Giddey emerged as the leading force for the Thunder, contributing a stellar performance with 19 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.

Meanwhile, Chet Holmgren and Jalen Williams both poured in 18 points each, showcasing their burgeoning talents on the court. Notably, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, despite a somewhat off night in shooting with a 4-12 record and 10 points, demonstrated that the Thunder's depth extended well beyond a single star player.

The game held significant intrigue as both Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard remained on the court until the third quarter, with both teams increasing the minutes for their key starters. Antetokounmpo ended the night with an impressive stat line of 18 points, 10 rebounds, and four steals, while Lillard managed to salvage five points after a scoreless first half.

Thunder's Stunning Upset

NBA enthusiasts wasted no time in reacting to the Oklahoma City Thunder's resounding triumph over the Milwaukee Bucks, who were widely regarded as title favorites. With this dominant performance, the Thunder appear to be ahead of schedule, raising the possibility of a postseason appearance following their entry into the play-in tournament last season.

One fan humorously noted that the Thunder's star player, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, had an off night, yet the team still secured a statement win, playfully exclaiming, "Shai not even up there y'all are in trouble lolz." Another fan expressed their excitement for the Thunder's future, emphasizing the remarkable arsenal of 37 future draft picks held by the team, crediting General Manager Sam Presti with a "masterclass" in asset accumulation.

Acknowledging the heightened expectations of Thunder fans, one observer remarked on the shift in sentiment, with supporters initially wary of potential media scrutiny but ending the day eagerly anticipating the start of the playoffs.

Damian Lillard Bucks
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