Thunder can’t overlook Timberwolves to Spurs

While The Minnesota Timberwolves have only won 20 games this season, the Oklahoma Thunder are on the other side of the spectrum, sitting in third place in the Western Conference with a 44-20 record.  But it was the Thunder All Stars who kept them from a defeat at the hands of the T-wolves in their last meeting, a slim 123-126 victory.

The Thunder have won 10 straight against the Timberwolves and with the Spurs looming on the horizon with a nationally televised game Saturday, Coach Donovan hopes his team maintains control on what aspects of the game they can.

“We talk about being able to sustain something and to control what you can control,” Donovan explained. “We can control blocking out.  We can control taking care of the basketball. We can control getting back in transition. We can control moving down the floor and executing and moving the ball. We can control those things.”

There is still time to get your tickets to cheer on your Oklahoma City Thunder before they embark on a one game road trip against the Spurs before returning for a home game against the Blazers.  Plenty of affordable tickets and great seats are still available!

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Thunder host revamped Spurs in Season Opener

The return of Kevin Durant from injury will be put to the test as they face the powerhouse San Antonio Spurs in the opening game of the season.  This also marks the first regular season game for new head coach Billy Donovan.

Durant missed a large portion of last season due in part to a Jones fracture early on in the 2014-15 season.  After spraining an ankle just 16 days after his return, Durant underwent surgery to relieve pain in his foot which turned into a season ending surgery.

While Durant was rehabbing in the off season, the Spurs were busy being very un-Spurs like in going after the NBA’s top free agent on the market, LaMarcus Aldridge, and ending up with not only Aldridge but savvy veteran David West as well.

If you are a basketball purist, then this game will be one that you should not miss.  Plenty of great seats and affordable tickets are still available so be sure to get yours today and help cheer on your Oklahoma City Thunder.

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Thunder drop third straight game, on verge of losing playoff slot

The Oklahoma City Thunder are now on the precipice of missing the 2015 NBA Playoffs entirely and with only five games left, the New Orleans Pelicans are on their heels, only 1/2 game away the 8th and final spot.

The Thunder faced off against Western Conference foes the Houston Rockets and  had opportunities to take them out, but OKC  could not overcome James Hardin’s 41 points in a 115-112 loss.

“A tough loss,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks.  “We’re making mental mistakes that we have to do a better job of understanding the situation.  We talked about those things in the timeouts, and we have to be able to execute those. It’s a problem the last few games, and we have to do a better job with that. But we will keep teaching and keep figuring out ways to get better. But we have to be able to execute those situations.”

The Thunder have little time to dwell on the loss as they prepare to face the Defending NBA Champions (who are playing at that exact level again) San Antonio Spurs tomorrow night.

Be sure to get your tickets now and help cheer on your Oklahoma City Thunder!

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Thunder ready to even the series at two games

The San Antonio Spurs were secretly hoping that the talk of the return of PF Serge Ibaka was just that…talk.  But talk turned into action Sunday evening as Serge made his triumphant return scoring the first five buckets for the Thunder.

“I love what he did,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “I love the determination that he played with. That’s something that he’s done all along. That was a great, great game by him. He impacted the game both ends of the floor.”

Cheap tickets and great seats for game four are on sale now.  Be sure to get yours now and help cheer on your Oklahoma City Thunder!

Thunder end Spurs Streak at 19

Durant extends his own streak

It was bound to happen and the Oklahoma City Thunder were more than happy to take to take the San Antonio Spurs to task once again.  And once again, the Thunder did not disappoint.  Not only did the franchise end the Spurs winning streak, they completed a sweep of their league leading nemises.

“That’s a big thing,” Westbrook said. “When you have a team that’s a good basketball team — they’re the No. 1 team in the West, and we want to be the best team, you’ve got to beat the best. I think we did a great job of that tonight.”

Kevin Durant did his normal thing, hitting the magic number of 25 and finishing with 28 points to extend his 25+ streak to 39 games.  It was with 3:31 left in the game that point # 25 came.

“That was a cool feeling,” Durant said. “I don’t want to take those moments for granted. It’s not what I’m really playing the game for, but it is still cool to see that support from such great fans, no matter what.”

The fact that the Thunder swept the Spurs is a much bigger issue.  If the two teams meet again in the playoffs, it will be in the Western Conference Finals which, only two teams in history have ever done what the Spurs hope to do; beat them in a seven game series.  Only the 1986 Celtics and 1989 Pistons were able to beat the team in the Conference Finals that swept them in the regular season.

The Thunder next face the Rockets on the road while their next home game will be against the Pelicans next Friday.  Get your tickets now!

Matchups to watch in the NBA Finals

The Oklahoma City Thunder have captivated their city and fans and are just four games away from making even more history. Forget the fact that the Thunder are the first team in the last decade plus not named the Lakers, Spurs or Mavericks to get to the promise land. This is the 4th Conference Championship for the franchise and the first since 1996.

But the excitement of this game will be the natural match-ups – LeBron against KD, Wade against Westbrook, Bosch against Ibaka…and you can count on veterans like Derek Fisher and Kendrick Perkins and even Nazr Mohmmad to provide a steady hand to the young guns on the Thunder squad.

“Once you get to the finals, it’s just about will and heart,” Thunder PF/C Kedrick Perkins said. “You could do all the scouting that you want to do and try to get ready for them, but at the end of the day, you done worked so hard to get here that it’s just coming from within. You’ve just got to dig deep…  By Game 4 or 5, you’ll see guys getting tired because of the season being long or whatever. It’s just digging deep and seeing who wants it more.”

Game 1 of the 2012 NBA Finals begins Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. on ABC Television.

Young guns take momentum away from veteran Spurs

It’s an evolutionary process, what we are witnessing in the NBA’s Western Conference Finals.  It’s the old guard slowly being replaced by the new younger militia and for the San Antonio Spurs, it’s a slow painful death.

“We never just thought that we were supposed to wait our turn, we always wanted to go and take everything,” Kevin Durant after Monday’s 108-103 win in San Antonio.

The Spurs tried everything they could to try and regain the momentum from starting Manu Ginobili to inserting the seldom used DeJuan Blair into the mix but nothing worked.  Head Coach Gregg Popovich put it succinctly:

 “Bottom line is you can’t turn it over 21 times for 28 points. That’s what we did again. Turnovers have been theme during the entire deal. I thought we spotted them 24 minutes. I didn’t think we competed very well in the first half. I was disappointed in the lack of competitiveness in the first half. We’ve been competing for three quarters and tonight we competed for two. If we don’t get that straight it will be over on Wednesday,”  Spurs coach Gregg Popovich

For Scott Brooks, bringing his team to this close and getting them to buy into his game plan is finally paying off.

“That was a total team effort. Everybody did their job. I thought we played as hard as we can play,” Scott Brooks after Game 5

Be sure to catch Game 6 this Wednesday as the Spurs travel to Oklahoma City.

 

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.

Thunder looking to wrest the West

Durant hoping to lead team to first NBA Title.

Kevin Durant and his Oklahoma City Thunder have just a few games left in order to win the Western Conference’s top seed.  The San Antonio Spurs, playing steady Spurs ball are standing in the way and, with their win over the outmatched Lakers while the Thunder took a 92-77 thrashing at the hands of the surging LA Clippers leaving some to question whether the Thunder have enough firepower to get through the Western Conference much less the finals.

While everyone associated with pro ball know that both guard Russel Westbrook and Durant make for one of the most dynamic duo’s in basketball, they are still lacking a solid presence in the center that will keep them from getting too deep into the playoffs.

“There’s no time to panic right now,” Durant said. “We have to win the next game in order to get our momentum back.”

It’s ironic that the only one mentioning anything about panicking is Kevin Durant.  Possibly because he is coming to the realization that his Western Conference foes such as the Spurs have not only three superstars but a bench as deep as the center of the Atlantic ocean.  The Thunder are 2nd when they score over a hundered points, the Spurs are first and while the Thunder currently have the sixth best defense, the whole of the NBA knows that when Popovich wants to clamp down on you, you most likely will not score a bunch. As an example, when Kobe emerged from the locker room last night, the Spurs went on 18-0 run that extended the lead to 57-41.

Durant is watching but there may not be much he will be able to do once the playoffs begin.