Westbrook trying to keep Thunder in Playoffs

Westbrook scores 54 in losing effort

The Oklahoma City Thunder are now on the verge of missing the 2015 NBA Playoffs after a heartbreaking 116-104 loss to the Indiana Pacers and the Houston Rockets win over the New Orleans Pelicans.  The loss puts the Thunder in a precarious position and they must now rely on other teams to get them into that final 8th seed.  A Portland loss tonight and a win by the Pelicans over the Timberwolves would effectively shut out the Thunder from the playoffs.

The league leader in double-doubles, Russell Westbrook did score the bulk of the Thunder points with 53 but it took 43 shots to get them.  He also collected nine rebounds and eight assists.

“You can look at the shots, and he probably took a handful too many,” Head Coach Scott Brooks said. “A lot of them were attacks and layups and at the very end, we were making comebacks. Twice we made comebacks because of his aggressive play. Russell leaves everything on the floor. He’s not a perfect player, nor is anybody in this league, but he plays with perfect energy every night, and that’s what we look at.”

The Thunder need to win against the Portland Trailblazers tonight so be sure to get out and support your team and help cheer them on into the playoffs.  Plenty of great seats and affordable tickets are still available.

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Houston pushes their case to Game 6

The Houston Rockets, led by The Beard, are pushing the limits of teams not seen since the “Dream Shake” graced the hardwood.   For one, Chandler Parsons knows his team will be ready to face off against Kevin Durant and his Oklahoma City Thunder.

“We’re fully confident that we’re gonna win tomorrow and that we’re gonna take the series,” Parsons said on Thursday outside the locker room at the Toyota Center.

The Thunder looked awed by the relentless Rockets attack resulting in OKC Coach Scott Brooks employing a Gregg Popovich tactic of hack a player.  That didn’t work either as Omar Asik sand 8-11 free throws in the final six minutes of the game.

If the Rockets can pull off a victory in Oklahoma, then the series is truly up in the air.

“We got something really special going on right now and I think the world is starting to see it, because we didn’t get as much attention as we think we deserved during the regular season,” Parsons said.  “But now the lights are on and we’re playing well and we’re really shocking people.”


Miami folds under pressure, bow to the Thunder

Durant/Westbrook score 41 in the 2nd half to the Heat’s 40

The Miami Heat needed all hands on board when they entered the Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City and, it seemed for a while they were. But when the Thunder brought the score from double digits to within 7 by the end of the first half, the Heat swagger was replaced by a cold  shuffle.

Dwayne Wade looked much like he did in the first three series, somewhat lost and unwilling to attack the rim.  Wade ended up with 19 points but it took 19 shots to get them (7-19 from the field, 0-3 from the 3-point line) but he did manage to pass out 8 assists.  In the critical third quarter, Wade was 1-6 from the field.  Even Shane Battier looked spry next to Wade. Battier finished with 17 points on 6-9 shooting and 3-4 from the 3-point line

Both D. Wade and LeBron played down the loss.

“This was the feel out game,” James said. “We come here with a lot of energy, try to steal Game 1 and now we get an opportunity to go to the chalkboard, go to the film and have a better game plan for Game 2 since we’ve already seen what they’re capable of doing.”

When asked why he was not attacking the basket, Wade responded:

“I was attacking—getting my teammates shots, and I got shots for  myself,” Wade said. “Attacking  to me is just being aggressive. Some nights I have big nights scoring and some  nights I don’t. That’s been the season. That’s just the way that it’s designed  for me.  I’m just always staying aggressive, like I said, for myself and for my  teammates to make sure they get good looks, and also be aggressive for myself to  get shots. Some are going to go in, some are not.”.

For the Thunder, Kevin Durant finished with 34 points while Russel Westbrook finished with 27 points (12 in the pivotal 3rd quarter) 11 assists and 8 rebounds.

Head Coach Scot Brooks was pleased with his team but was quick to note that this was just one game.

“We showed a lot of toughness in the second half, but we’ve just won one game. K.D. (Durant) is a terrific player but he’s special because he defends. In our huddles it’s all about defense.”  Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks

Game Two of the NBA Finals is scheduled for Thursday June 14th.  Be sure to get your tickets to this most exciting finals match up.



Thunder on the ropes against Spurs

While it may not be officially over, the writing is surely on the wall.  And, while no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit, there have been eight instances in which teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit (most recently the 2006 Phoenix Suns).

This is why Thursday’s match-up is so vital to the young Thunder squad.

After taking two whippings in San Antonio, the Thunder must regroup in order to go on. Otherwise, summertime for the team begins on Sunday.

“It’s not like teams are trying to give them wins,” Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks said. “We’re all  trying to beat them. We’re trying to figure out ways to beat them. They’ve got a  great inside player, smart, selfless, a protector at the basket. They’ve got an  incredible number of 40-percent 3-point shooters, all throughout the team.  They’ve got two of the best penetrating guards in the league. They’re a great  team. It’s not a good team, it’s a great team.”

Brooks has until Thursday to figure out how to at least get one win and Thursday’s game is the optimal time to do so.  After all, falling behind 3-0 is pretty much an automatic death sentence to a season.

Game three is Thursday at Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City.

Thunder move on against undefeated Spurs

The Oklahoma Thunder did what they were supposed to do; the 2nd seed is supposed to beat the 3rd seed. So why are sports pundits calling this the upset of the century? Oklahoma had a stellar season the entire season, the Lakers pretty much showed up to play when they wanted to. But the days of “turning it on” when you need it have come and gone as Kobe Bryant was the only player who was “on.”

The Thunder now face a team that has not lost in the past 18 games and are the only team (other than the Lakers and the Mavericks) to win the Western Conference in the past 14 seasons. No small task. In three games this season, the Thunder won only one and all those games were without Manu Ginobili.

The series begins Sunday May 27th.