PHOTO/Getty Images-Zach Beeker
From the start it looked like it was going to be one of those nights for the Thunder. You know, one of THOSE nights, when nothing can go right because every single thing is going wrong.
The Thunder were sluggish on offense, late on defense, lazy with passes and sometimes looked as if they'd never seen a basketball. OKC players cranked out so many turnovers (26) you'd think they all worked for Pepperidge Farm.
14 of those turnovers came in the first half and led to 26 Bulls points (26!!) OKC was down by 20 before the first quarter ended and down by 26 before the second quarter horn sounded.
But something happened while the Thunder were sleepwalking toward their 15th loss of the season. The offense looked crisp, shots were falling, the Bulls started to crack and Chris Paul went OFF going all Steph Curry dropping in six 3-pointers and scoring 28 of his 30 points in the second half and leading OKC to a stunning 109-106 win.
The comeback was the largest ever at Chesapeake Energy Arena and tied the franchise record for the largest anywhere.
“Man, it was cool because with our young team, at times we can sort of get down. You know guys sort of [have] their head down trying to figure out what we’re going to do," CP3 told reporters after the game. "But it’s cool just to talk and be able to show them that it’s a long game. It’s never over. As long as we communicate and stay together, we always have a chance.”
Paul's 30 points came on 9-for-11 shooting overall and 6-for-8 on threes. He also grabbed nine reounds and handed out eight assists for his best overall game in a Thunder uniform.
"The way Chris played in the second half; I think he had figured out things that they were doing and then he did a really great job not only finding his spots to go score, but certainly making the game easy for everybody else," said head coach Billy Donovan. "And I think once we played where we got the ball out against their aggressiveness and then moved it, that kind of helped us."
Dennis Schroder had another big scoring night with 18 points on 7-for-12 shooting and Terrance Ferguson, back in the lineup after missing several games with a bruised hip, scored 12 points by hitting four 3s.
"Early on we started off slow, but we knew we were going to pick things up with the players we have. And just stand together and believe in ourselves and we had a comeback win so it was a great night," Ferguson said.
And a historic comeback, one that could kick start this team toward a hot finish to 2019 with five of the last seven games of the year at home ending with the annual New Year's Eve game.