Author - Chuck Chaney

Wizards make OKC disappear

Your superstars can be out but that doesn’t mean you’re out. The Oklahoma City has been witness to that for many moons. That was no different on Sunday night as the Washington Wizards beat the Thunder 116-98 at the ‘Peake.

Oklahoma City trailed by as many as 23 in the game and never seemed to pull off one of those patented runs Oklahoma City has been known for this season.

“82 games,” Russell Westbrook said. “You think you’re going to play good every night, you’ve got another thing coming.”

With the loss, Oklahoma City drops to 25-14 on the season and they’re third in the Western Conference playoff race.

The 18-point loss is the Thunder’s largest loss since a 32-point drumming from the Warriors in Feb. 2018.

Turnovers, or thereof the lack of turnovers, was the real point here. Oklahoma City only forced nine turnovers, a season low. It’s the lowest amount of turnovers for an opponent since the Thunder only forced nine in a win over the Kings in Feb. 2018.

“We turned the ball over too much, at least I did,” Westbrook said. “That’s the story of the game.”

Westbrook turned it over eight times, despite the triple-double. He finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists.

The Thunder fought back, in the second half, eventually taking the lead 65-63 with 7:41 left in the third quarter. It appeared for all of their faults within the game, they fought back and and had the lead.

It was all downhill from there.

Washington outscored Oklahoma City 20-6 over the next six minutes, essentially putting the game out of reach for the Thunder by the end of the third quarter.

“We did well on the road,” Paul George said. “We had some big games that we won and just one of those nights you come home and you see an opponent like the Wizards. You just fall into that trap.”

It was Washington’s board domination that limited the Thunder’s ability for second chance points. The second best offensive rebounding team in the NBA was held to only seven. Steven Adams, the league’s foremost authority on offensive boards had zero. It’s the first time since Nov. 5, 2017 against Portland, where Adams didn’t have an offensive rebound.

No possession epitomized the game more than mid-fourth where the Wizards miss a couple of shots but the Wizards kept fighting their way to the rebound. They got off three offensive rebounds and ended with an open Jeff Green three-pointer. It put the Wizards up 20 again.

“I don’t think we played well enough to put ourselves in a position to win the game,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said. “Washington played well. We didn’t rebound well. We didn’t defend well. We didn’t do anything well.”

The Thunder will host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night at the ‘Peake. Oklahoma City could use a strong night’s rest after the demoralizing loss. That game is scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m.

It’s Washington’s first ever win in Oklahoma City. Ever. Not even when the Hornets rented the ‘Peake. They were a combined 0-11 before Sunday’s win over the Thunder.

“We know what we are capable of,” Westbrook said. “We just take this one and move on to the next.”

That’s all you can do with losses like this. You take the result. You throw out the tape and the result and move on. It’s a loss and nothing more.

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Thunder Game Day #39: vs. Washington Wizards

Oklahoma City Thunder (25-13, 13-4 home)

vs.

Washington Wizards (15-24, 4-17 away)

Sunday, January 6 :: 6:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
TV Coverage: Fox Sports Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 10-point favorites. The over/under is 221.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Wizards: here

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Chris Fisher and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).

SCOUTING THE ENEMY

  • The Washington Wizards are 15-24 on the season, 11th in the Eastern Conference.
  • In their last 10 games, the Wizards are 4-6.
  • In their last game, Washington lost to the Miami heat 115-109 on Friday, Jan. 4.
  • Oklahoma City beat the Wizards 134-111 on Nov. 2, 2018 in their first meeting against Oklahoma City.
  • All-time against Washington, the Thunder are 73-61.
  • Since the Thunder relocated, Oklahoma City is 14-6 against the Wizards.
  • When they play at the ‘Peake, the Thunder are 9-0 all-time vs. Washington.
  • Oklahoma City is 5-12 on the road against Houston, one of the worst road records vs. any team for Oklahoma City.
  • Last season, Oklahoma City won the regular season series 2-1, including a 112-107 win and 122-112 loss in Oklahoma City.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Chris Paul (hamstring) is out.
  • James Ennis III (hamstring) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Washington came on March 14, 2011, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 116-89 (27-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (22 points) vs. the Wizards occurred during an 120-98 loss on Feb. 13, 2017.

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out.
  • Alex Abrines (personal) is out.

UNIFORM WATCH



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Blazers Meltdown

  • Another big game. It’s time to make our run
  • Beating the Thunder you just let Westbrook shoot every shot at the end of the game….works everytime
  • Why what is wrong with Moe? We don’t play until Friday.
    He’s unreliable.
  • I was wondering if Westbrook has the most triple doubles in losses in NBA history
    Not at all. In fact, he only has 21 losses in the 114 games in which he’s recorded a triple double, which is fewer than Magic’s 30, Kidd’s 31, and Big O’s 48. His .8158 winning percentage in triple-double games is actually 4th best amongst the top-10 triple-doubler’s in NBA history, and is better than the two people with more than him, Oscar (.7257) and Magic (.7826).
  • If the Blazers loose in the playoffs this year I will be going for OKC.
    As if my opinion of your posts couldn’t get any lower.
  • All i can say is i hate Westbrook.
  • Thunder it’s a good team. We got this one but it’s a quality team
  • Looking over the Thunder roster I really dislike this team, top 3 hate level. Remember when people on this board wanted Noel, glad that didn’t happen.
  • OMG, they’ve got Felton, I hate Felton so we’ve just gotta beat the Thunder. We have to beat them.
  • Lets leave George wide open off of a dead ball turnover, real smart strategy!
  • Refs not calling s*** on OKC early
  • Have I told you how much I hate Evan Turner?
  • Paul George is soooo smooth. This game will be Lillard vs George
  • F*** Paul George and f*** the Refs
  • Nice product there, NBA. Go f*** yourselves.
  • Is the official NBA rule book in braille?
  • STOTTS: HE ESCAPED FROM MY BASEMENT! SOMEONE GET A BALL GAG, LAYMAN’S LOOSE AND PLAYING!!!
  • Guess we gotta give Stotts credit every time he uses basic common sense.
  • Schroder sucks lol
  • Will the Blazers go the entire game without shooting a free throw?
  • I swear, 50 per cent of this game are missed rebounds and the other have are alley oops.
  • Westbrook is so f***ing predictable lol
  • NBA want’s Okc to win that Game
  • Dame blew by Westbrook then Westbrook tried to blow by dame. Too bad dame picked up the foul.
  • I pray we get okc in the playoffs. That’s a fun 7 game series.
  • We have nobody who can stop George. That concerns me.
  • If Westbrook gets hot, this could get ugly.
  • Giving George uncontested 15′ jumpers might not be the best idea…
  • Yeah, but if we guard him he gets FTs.
  • Is there ANYTHING we can do to stop George?
  • we have no answer for Paul George. Just pray he misses shots
  • We got this OKC is weak
  • I knew it would happen
  • If Paul George didn’t snap his leg in half, he’s arguably the best player in the game. Just my opinion
  • I dunno why they keep playing this Schroder scrub, but I’m glad they are.
  • This is the Stotts coaching we know and love…….
  • Can the Blazers finally break the 0-16 streak?
  • 93 points and still in the 3rd quarter. Just letting PG kill us.
  • Time to turn off the TV
  • Imploding at the speed of light!
  • OKC is ramping up its defense. Our passes need to come faster. Too much deliberation.
  • Schroder heard what we said about him
  • Horrible calls to boot
  • I love this board. Can’t let so much as a joke go without the automatic refutation of criticism. It’s like having being in middle school algebra again and having the pockmarked kid at the back with his hand up, yelling, “That’s not true! That’s not the answer! I know the answer and that not it!”
  • The Thunder have been really lucky in the 50/50 balls this half.
  • Cj is like Shawn Kemp level overpaid now
  • Damn Westbrook.
  • Damian get your head out of your f***ing ass. WTF was that shot
  • I think that Westbrook guy is going to be good.
  • That steal by WB is haunting me atm
  • The Thunder have been really lucky in the 50/50 balls this half.
  • Well they’ve been creating them.
  • Why did I bother watching this s***. Game over. Pathetic in so many facets.
  • Great block by Grant.
  • Westbrick completely dominating CJ tonight.
  • Refs are calling such bs shooting fouls in our favour now, to try to make it look like they called a fair game.
  • Refs making some clutch foul calls, giving Blazers a bunch of FTs in crunch time.
  • CJ not clutch.
  • Well came up short…Thunder played a hell of a game
  • CJ McUnclutch….
  • Chokej is the biggest p***y to ever wear a blazer uniform
  • Can we talk about playoffs hahaha
  • Harden is going to destroy us.
  • Man i hate CJ.
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Lakers Meltdown 1.2.19

  • Hey PG, break a leg
  • Let’s kick the (bleep) out of them.
  • If Paul George and a woman whose father’s first name is George get married and have a child, and the mother wants the child named after her father, what would the resulting child’s name be?
    George George?
    George squared?
    GGeeoorrggee?
    George of the George?
  • Westbrook with another 4-22 due to lonzo lockdown defense
  • We have no one who can match up with Adams
  • I’ve been waiting the entire season for this.
  • Russ is going to have a hot shooting night soon, hopefully it’s not tonight
  • Word up for those who are going to the game:  Boo the F out of Paul George
  • BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
  • BooooooOOOOOOooooooOOOOOOO
  • F Adams y’all
  • Foul by aquaman
  • PG13 pushed off no call
  • LonzoBron
  • George with the blatant stiff arm and the refs just watches it happen
  • Booing PG is pathetic.
  • Thunder defense is scary good
  • How manyw ide open shots we going to miss
  • Sit down PG
  • Brick brick brick
  • Scouting report is out on Hart, he sucks at contesting.
  • I hate Hart guarding Westbrook, he’s going to foul him every time
  • Hart is booty right now. Snap out of it.
  • LMAO PG
  • PG stupider than Hart right now.
  • Lol we plunking these clowns, F Paul George….bum
  • Haha. We hate you PG
  • These Thunder announcers are trash what the (bleep)
  • What a sluggish start for both teams. Man this crowd and atmosphere is embarrassing for a nationally televised game. Quiet, Quiet, Boo PG, Quiet. This doesn’t have to be Cleveland where they’ve been drinking all afternoon before a late start game, but come on.
  • how is it that Shroder wasn’t ejected for that
  • Let’s run these chumps back to OKC.
  • PG had all the space in the world to make that shot
  • Westbrook has 6 rebounds. Stat padding again
  • Westbrook is toxic. Part of the reason Durant left … then again Durant thinks most places are toxic so …
  • SUCK IT PAUL
  • PG barely dunked that, (bleep)
  • Paul George is such a mental midget
  • lol… weak call on that T
  • PG13 gone wild
  • When the hell did Dennis become a shooter
  • Stevenson to the PG13 school of basketball. lol
  • wtf is Lance doing
  • PG didn’t fall for that move. Lance looked surprised.
  • Lance has got to be the dumbest player in the league.
  • I feel like we should be up double digits.
  • Russ is a total ass….but I cant help but like the dude.
    closest to the Mamba mentality in a while.
    minus the championships
  • Lance is our new Artest
    he should elbow George in the head.
    or westbrook. i m fine with either
  • Westbrook shooting 2-12 and air guitarring.
  • Man, PG is so good
    not a superstar but an intermittent all star
  • Hart you’re killing me
  • should’ve made that trade for PG13
  • PG is just feasting on us.
  • Wow, (bleep) defense Josh.
  • Double Paul George. Don’t let him be the scorer. Make Westbrook have to win this game.
  • It feels like PG is the only guy scoring for the Thunder.
  • Refs haven’t called (bleep) on George since he got his 3rd foul .
  • Zubac you bum
  • (bleep). Protect the (bleep) ball Zu.
  • That’s why you don’t let Lonzo handle the ball.
  • Great third quarter. Do we have the stamina to win
  • Keep it close we know OKC has no closers
  • They have no one that can make a shot so all the Lakers need to do is zone up.
  • Lakers are leading OKC without Lebron, Rondo, Kuz.  Let’s get the W.
  • another TO and get Zo back in
  • Simma down Lakers
  • Call timeout you (bleep)!
  • (bleep) you Luke. (bleep) you.
  • Some guy called Nader going off.
  • Death, taxes, and scrubs going off on the Lakers.
  • Lost the lead while PG and RW are on the bench. Come on. (bleep) Luke.
  • playing the sloppy ass thunder style atm
  • So a middle eastern dude is killing us now
  • Westbrook is gonna check back into the game, go off and we’re gonna lose lol.
  • Geez… What the (bleep) happened to our offense yet again.
  • The refs have been the only ones making plays in the last 5 minutes or so.
  • lol at OKC can’t make 2 footers
  • Game over. Lonzo, change your (bleep) form on the free throws the very least.
  • When was our last bucket?
  • Hart is matching Westbrook… miss by miss…
  • The crowd is booing Lonzo, who is now 1 for his last 10 at the FT line.
  • Lonzo getting the boo birds from the fans.
  • Lonzo building a house with Hart and Westbrook… apparently
  • This team has to be historically bad at FTs?
  • How are we this close? We’ve played like (bleep)
  • Why did the Thunder let PG rest for so long? They could have put the game away earlier.
  • GRSB THE BALL. STOP SLAPPONG AT IT.
  • Ouch. That looked painful for Ferguson.
  • Stupid ass Ferguson. Strong Hart.
  • Even Josh Hart gets the whistle on that.
  • Ferguson was dumb for goin up like that..
  • bad defensive play by Ferguson
  • Why isn’t Ingram on Paul George?
  • Ugh. I am concerned that we could not get it together before PG-13 came back in.
  • Luke needs to be fired.
  • Thunder are thoroughly unimpressive, but the Lakers have been getting outworked all night it’s pathetic!
  • (bleep) George
  • God I can’t stand Paul George man. What a (bleep)
    Actually, this is just an ugly basketball game. All around.
  • No one Can make a damn shot.
  • Luke is a clown
  • wow.. Chadler that’s dirty
  • so ferguson can jump on hart with no flagrant, and then tyson gets all ball and they review it?!?
  • this will be the worst game I’ve never watched.
  • Not a flagrant. (bleep) these retards.
  • Chandler didn’t even go for that ball.
  • The look on Pelinka, Lebron and Magic.
  •  Bron telling Maginka to ship them all out.
  • “we don’t need you…..we don’t need you….”
  • PG looking to get 40?
  • westbrook is just relentless… impressive.
  • I really really really really really really want to beat these punks bad in OKC when we’re at full strength. They really tried to clown us at the end, especially grant dunking their last points, with the game decided-You could hear tyson saying something to him about that.
    Classless move
    Thunder being classless isn’t a shocker, especially since they have nothing better to do when they have to endore playing in a crappy city like Oklahoma.
  • We let pg (bleep) in our house.
  • PG-13 whooped our ass tonight
  • Paul George gawdamn we needed this guy
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Paul George drops 37 in Thunder win

The boo’s were loud and vicious early on. However, by the end of the game, it was Paul George who had the final word. George scored 37 points and the Thunder ran away from Staples Center with a 107-100 victory.

The Thunder improved to 24-13 on the year and now have won three out of their last four games.

George struggled early but fought through early foul trouble to really assert himself in his hometown, despite the hatred that came from the grandstands.

George scored nine points in the fourth quarter as the Thunder covercame trailing for most of the second half. He scored 20 points in the second half alone.

The boos started early for George, whose perceived crime is his decision to re-sign quickly with Oklahoma City when he became a free agent last summer. George didn’t even deign to meet with the Lakers about a return to his home state after years of hopeful speculation by Lakers fans and Magic Johnson, who wanted to team James with George.

Some Lakers fans chanted “We don’t need you!” at George in the fourth quarter while he sewed up the Thunder’s win with a ferocious dunk with a minute left.

George finished with 37 points on 15-of-29 shooting. While he was 2-of-11 from deep, it was his four steals and only one turnover that fueled Oklahoma City.

Westbrook recorded his 115th career triple-double. Westbrook still has 11 triple-doubles this season and eight in his last 15 games. However, tonight was his night. He struggled shooting the ball, one of the worst of his career, going 3-of-20 from the floor, including 1-of-8 in the second half. Westbrook finished with 14 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists on the evening.

George and the Thunder appeared to draw motivation from the booing. George got a technical foul for slapping the backboard after slamming an alley-oop from Westbrook, who mimicked Lakers guard Lance Stephenson’s air guitar celebration moments later when George drew a foul from Stephenson while hitting a jumper.

Oklahoma City led 59-57 at halftime.

Terrance Ferguson left late in the fourth quarter after taking a shot to the head in the fourth quarter.

The Thunder will now take their show on the road, to Portland on Friday night for a key divisional showdown. Oklahoma City hasn’t done well in the Rose city in the last couple of seasons, leaving Friday’s game huge. Tip-off is scheduled for a 9:30 p.m. start.

Keys to the Game

Free throws: D

Oklahoma City shot 20-of-31 from the line. Westbrook was the bright spot, shooting 7-of-10. It was the others that really caught Oklahoma City off guard. Dennis Schröder who is usually reliable from the line, went 1-of-4 and George went 5-of-7. As a team, the Thunder shot only 65 percent.

Defend the three: A+

Oklahoma City held the Lakers to only 7-of-27 from deep. That was huge. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was 5-of-11 and the rest of the Laker’s club was 2-of-16. The Thunder’s length was a problem all evening long for the Lakers.

Paul George: A+

Despite the foul trouble, Paul George was amazing. He took those booing fans and turned it into fire for his game. He was completely dominate on both sides of the ball, with steals and deflections. There’s a reason why he’s in talk for Defensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player.

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Suns Meltdown 12.28.18

The Thunder beat the Suns in a game they probably could’ve lost if it wasn’t for a big fourth quarter from the boys! The Suns fans seemed to keep everything in perspective with their season but you definitely see them lose it as the fourth quarter rolls around. Enjoy the Meltdown!

  • The NBA this year is so weird! Crazy!
  • interesting shot selection from booker so far…
  • Thunder are a really really good team if they could add one more shooter
    His name is Paul george
    i meant on top of him
    playing on top of a player is a bad strategy.
  • Slow it down Book. He is all over the place.
  • Gonna be another 30+ shot attempts game for Book
  • suns fans seem determined to hate the only good things about their franchise apparently
  • Its almost as if . . .That when players look for Ayton, he scores? Good to know
  • we have no one that can guard westbrook
  • thunder can beat you in so many ways
  • Can someone please challenge Westbrook?
  • 3 games in 4 nights against the 3 best teams in the west the f*** is this
  • Play. F***ing. Defense.
  • The defense by the Suns that quarter was about as ugly as a two dollar hooker.
  • Abdul Nader is flexing on us…
  • How fat does Felton look though
  • russ+adams against our bench = moment of truth
  • this team is so much improved to early in the year it’s not even funny
  • What a run That bench mob with defense and speed is so fun to watch
  • I really feel like we’re a 500 team the rest of the season
  • OKC shooting 61% and losing by 1
  • Nader the latest to be put into the HOF after playing the Suns.
  • Westbrook going for the quadruple double tonight
  • so many dumb turnovers
  • You know what’s one smart way for our offense to get going? Get Ayton going!
  • Awful call. Oubre took the charge on WB but didn’t get the call
  • lmao that’s the definition of a superstar call
  • Watching that half was absolutely exhausting.
  • Send Melton to G-league, it’s getting embarrassing.
  • OUbre going to file for patent infringement for blowing kisses, Mikal
  • Nader is killing us
  • 9-0 OKC run. Time to sit a couple guys…
  • this game would be a lot more satisfying if booker was shooting normally
  • Devin get ya head out of ya ass bro
  • ayton staying with schroder. guy is a freak of giant proportions
  • How many points do the Thunder have in the paint? My goodness.
  • 177, just a guess
  • Adams hurt hope he’s ok
  • Yeah, but I won’t complain.
  • Do the Thunder always play this fast and this out of control? My God. This is exhausting just to watch.
  • Back to back turnovers
  • I still don’t think Josh has guarded Westbrook.
  • That was a wild first 3 quarters
  • Can Crawford just fucking stop.
  • Scoreboard broken
  • And Adams is back
  • Crawford has no business being in.
  • That’s it folks …game over. Can’t win at home , despite PG absence…good night
  • Ice cold
  • That’s game.
  • Game Over We could have had this one.
  • Okay so I just checked in. 18-4 this quarter no thank you.
  • WTF is going on
  • Igor has NO clue , Nooooooo f****** clue how to manage this team !!!
  • I hate hearing OKC fans. I want the “this is my home” Book back
  • See what happens when you run your shots through the system
  • All Westbrook
  • I hope you guys enjoyed the trip crashing down to earth tonight. I sure as hell didn’t.
  • Russell ripped out Suns’ heart tonight.
  • With the #1 pick in 2019 NBA draft the Phoenix Suns Select Zion Williamson!
  • Nader owned Oubre there
  • how many Nader haters?
  • SUNS GOT PUNKED
  • Reality people: Okc is the better team.
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Nader’s career high helps OKC beat Phoenix 118-102

Abdel Nader struggled in their last game. It was bad. There were questions of his NBA ability to the point of being compared to Kyle Singler.

That wasn’t the case Friday night. Nader scored a career high 18 points en route to Oklahoma City’s 118-102 win over the Phoenix Suns. Nader had scored just 16 points all season before Friday night’s victory.

“He’s worked really hard,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “Any time you see a guy put that work in and get a chance to be rewarded like that with the minutes, the performance is well-deserving for him because you see what he does every single day with his work ethic.”

Nader converted a three-point play then scored again inside to put the Thunder up 43-35 with 10:02 left in the first half.

But Josh Jackson sank a 19-footer, followed by a 3-pointer, to ignite the surge. Booker also hit a 3-pointer and Mikal Bridges scored from the baseline to put the Suns ahead 51-47 with 5:22 to go. There were five lead changes the rest of the half, with Oklahoma City leading 58-57 at the break.

Nader’s career high companioned with Russell Westbrook dropping his first 40-point game of the season, Oklahoma City stepped up with Paul George and Alex Abrines out. Westbrook finished with 40 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.

In a season where Westbrook’s explosion has been questioned at times, the former MVP turned on the jets and blew by the Phoenix Suns, who had won six of their last eight games.

“We lean on defense all season,” Westbrook said, “and it’s important that we constantly keep leaning on that to win games.”

Oklahoma City leaned on it in the fourth quarter, for sure. They used it to go on a 23-4 run over a 6-minute 10-second run that spanned the third and mostly the fourth quarter. They held the Suns to only 2-of-11 over that time frame, including 0-of-4 from the three-point line. The Suns attempted zero free throw attempts during the run.

Dennis Schröder scored 10 points during that run. He’d been struggling for most of the game but came through when the Thunder needed someone to step up.

“In the first half, my shot wasn’t falling and everybody else stepped up doing a great job,” Schroder said. “In the second half, everybody gave me confidence, told me to keep shooting and I did and in the fourth quarter I kept it going, shot every shot I could get and it went in.”

The win pushes Oklahoma City to second place in a tight Western Conference playoff race. They remain a half-game behind divisional foe, Denver, for first place.

Oklahoma City will play the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday at 6 p.m in Dallas. Then, they’ll play them again on New Year’s Eve in Oklahoma City.

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Thunder Game Day #33: at Houston Rockets

Oklahoma City Thunder (21-11, 9-7 away)

at

Houston Rockets (17-15, 10-5 home)

Tuesday, December 25 :: 2:00 p.m. CST :: Toyota Center (18,300)
TV Coverage: ABC (5 DirecTV, 8 Cox, 705 HD, 5 AT&T U-Verse, 5 Dish)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 1-point favorites. The over/under is 221.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Rockets: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder look to rebound from a bad loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves as they travel to Houston on Christmas Day to play the Houston Rockets.
  • Oklahoma City is coming off a 114-112 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night. Oklahoma City led for a majority of the game before a bad third quarter set things going in the wrong direction.
  • The Houston Rockets are going to be without Chris Paul for a few weeks and are trying to get their bearings still this season. While they’re eighth in the playoff race, the Rockets, who were the No. 1 seed in last year’s playoffs, are just 6-4 in their last 10 games.
  • Oklahoma City beat the Rockets 98-80 on Nov. 8 in Oklahoma City. It’s second largest wins over the Rockets in Thunder history. Carmelo Anthony struggled in his return to Oklahoma City. So much, he’s no longer a member of the team.
  • This is the ninth consecutive season Oklahoma City is playing on Christmas Day. They’re 6-2 on Christmas Day games. They’ve won four of their last five Christmas Day games.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • ABC is broadcasting tonight’s game. Oklahoma City and Houston’s call will come from Dave Pasch and Doris Burke.

SCOUTING THE T-WOLVES

  • The Houston Rockets are 17-15 on the season, eighth in the Western Conference Playoff race.
  • Last season, the Rockets won over 60 games and were the No. 1 overall seed in the Western Conference.
  • In their last game, Houston beat the San Antonio Spurs 108-101 on Saturday night.
  • The Rockets, after starting 1-5, have fought back and are back in the playoff hunt.
  • All-time against the Rockets, Oklahoma City is 110-107.
  • Since relocation, the Thunder are 17-20.
  • Since 2015-16, the Thunder are 5-7.
  • Oklahoma City is 5-12 on the road against Houston, one of the worst road records vs. any team for Oklahoma City.
  • Last season, Oklahoma City won the regular season series 2-1, including a 112-107 win and 122-112 loss in Oklahoma City.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Chris Paul (hamstring) is out.
  • James Ennis III (hamstring) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Houston came on Dec. 29, 2013, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 117-86 (31-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (12 points) vs. Houston occurred during a 89-77 loss on Nov. 1, 2008.

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out

UNIFORM WATCH

NEXT UP

  • The Thunder will travel to Phoenix for a showdown with the Suns on Friday, Dec. 28.
  • Then, the Thunder will have back-to-back games against Dallas to round out the 2018 portion of the schedule. First one will be on Dec. 30 in Dallas and then back in Oklahoma City on Dec. 31.

WHAT’S IN A NAME

  • The Houston Rockets originally called San Diego home.
  • Rockets was chosen via a name-the-team contest and was a reference to the city’s theme, “A City In Motion.”
  • Liquid-fueled Atlas rockets were also being manufactured in San Diego.
  • When the team moved to Houston in 1971, it made perfectly good sense to keep the name, as Houston was home to a NASA space center.



Three Keys to the Game

Turnovers

Houston is one of the better teams in the league in not letting their opponents score off their mistakes. Oklahoma City has to capitalize on this today. That being said, Oklahoma City has really struggled in taking care of the ball the last couple of games. They have to do a considerably better job today in that department.

Free throws

Oklahoma City’s free throws are huge reasons why they’ve let some games slip this season. They have to make their free throws. It’s simple and just to the point. Make your free throws and you have more of a chance to win some games. Miss them and put yourself behind the 8-ball, yet again.

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook have to step up on the offensive side. The Thunder need his offensive ability to reappear. Sure, he’s having one of his best defensive seasons of his career, but the Thunder need more out of the all-star. He struggled again on the offensive side but really stepped up when it mattered against Minnesota.

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Thunder Game Day #32: vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

Oklahoma City Thunder (21-10, 12-3 home)

vs.

Minnesota Timberwolves (14-18, 3-14 away)

Sunday, December 23 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
TV Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 7.5-point favorites. The over/under is 222.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | T-Wolves: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • With a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Oklahoma City Thunder will own sole possession of first place in the Western Conference playoff race.
  • They have to take care of business first. The Minnesota T-Wolves (14-18) come into Chesapeake Energy Arena looking for their first road win since Nov. 26, almost a month ago. Since then, the T-Wolves have dropped five straight games on the road.
  • The Thunder have won four straight and are the NBA’s hottest team, along with the Miami Heat. Oklahoma City is coming off an impressive 107-106 win over the Utah Jazz last night. Paul George had 43 points in the victory.
  • Oklahoma City is 4-2 against the T-Wolves at home over the last three seasons.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Chris Fisher and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).

SCOUTING THE T-WOLVES

  • The Minnesota Timberwolves are 14-18 on the season, that’s 14th in the Western Conference playoff race. They’re on three games out of the playoffs.
  • Minnesota is 3-7 in their last 10 games.
  • When Oklahoma City and the T-Wolves play, Oklahoma City owns a commanding 81-33 advantage.
  • When Oklahoma City plays at the Peake, the Thunder are 16-3 record, including 4-2 over the last three seasons.
  • Last season, both teams split the series with each team winning at least one game on the opponent’s home floor.
  • Minnesota has never finished higher than Oklahoma City in the regular season standings outside of the Thunder’s first season.
  • Minnesota lost to San Antonio in their last game, 124-98 on Thursday, Dec. 21.
  • Minnesota, losers of six of their last seven, have lost those games by an average of 11.2 points per game.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Jeff Teague (ankle) is out.
    Derrick Rose (ankle) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Minnesota came on 4/15/15, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 138-113 (25-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (42 points) vs. MIN occurred during an 87- 129 loss on 1/7/09.

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out

UNIFORM WATCH

NEXT UP

  • The Thunder round out the Christmas week with a game in Houston against the Rockets at 2 p.m. on Christmas Day.

WHAT’S IN A NAME

  • The ownership group for Minnesota’s prospective franchise chose Timberwolves through a name-the-team contest in 1986.
  • The nickname beat out Polars by a 2-1 margin in the final vote, which was conducted in 333 of the state’s 842 city councils.
  • Tim Pope, who was one of the first fans to nominate Timberwolves, won a trip to the NBA All-Star Game. Pope submitted 10 nicknames in all, including Gun Flints. “I thought a two-word name would win,” he told a reporter.
  • The most popular entry in the contest was Blizzard, but the team wanted a nickname that was more unique to its home state. “Minnesota is the only state in the lower 48 with free-roaming packs of timber wolves,” a team official said.



Three Keys to the Game

Defend

If the NBA’s best defensive team is going to give its offense a shot, they must defend hard tonight. Sure, The T-Wolves are short staffed, that’s when players who you do not expect will step up and surprise you. Oklahoma City at times can be their worst enemy. Tonight, Oklahoma City needs a strong perimeter defense and a strong support cast.

Free throws

Oklahoma City’s free throws are huge reasons why they’ve let some games slip this season. They have to make their free throws. It’s simple and just to the point. Make your free throws and you have more of a chance to win some games. Miss them and put yourself behind the 8-ball, yet again.

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook have to step up on the offensive side. The Thunder need his offensive ability to reappear. Sure, he’s having one of his best defensive seasons of his career, but the Thunder need more out of the all-star. Westbrook hasn’t scored 20 or more since Dec. 12, a loss to New Orleans. That was the last time Westbrook shot 50 percent or better, too.

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Jazz Meltdown 12.22.18

  • I’m way too excited and hopeful about this game.
  • push off P
  • Gameplan. Make Westbrick shoot every play
  • I’m needing to see some Korver threes. Starting to experience some withdrawals.
  • This is a loss because of Rubio.
  • GFY Russel.
  • Westbrook getting salty in SLC makes me happy every time
  • Call me crazy… but watching the Jazz is way more fun when they’re making shots.
  • Why refs let Westbrook take those swipes at players?
  • Mitchell needs to play angry. I’m sick of watching fade a way 3’s and weak layups.
  • It’s 8 vs 5 tonight boys
  • Well we haven’t dug a hole and have some bad officiating. So that’s good.
  • Mitchell needs to get on board with this extra pass, cutting offense.
  • Who was the frickin’ moron who said the only reason Thabo plays is because he’s a vet?
  • I’m getting some dirty looks from relatives for watching the game on my laptop while we exchange presents. Worth it.
  • Aquaman is a good offensive rebounder
  • Keep in mind this is the best defense in the NBA technically. I think they’ve had a soft schedule but still best DRTG. Jazz playing well.
  • Juan Stockton ladies and gentlemen
  • Paul George is so good this year.
  • We’re getting absolutely boned by the whistles and lack thereof.
  • Jerami Grant and Paul George are their entire team on both ends right now.
  • What’s up with Westbrook? He has like 3 airballs in the half
  • wtf is with all the blown layups?
  • They got Schroooder on the bench who terrorizes us.
  • That weak *** pass by Crowder that led to a steal and PG 3 killed our momentum. Go back to the bench Jae.
  • Damn, Paul George makes me nervous af
  • Force the ball out of George. Don’t over think it. Schroder is a lower threat
  • paul george is really good damn
  • Man Paul George is awesome tonight.
  • Our defense is crap and I’ve lost count of our missed dunks and layups. This should be a blow out
  • Pushoff p is Dad d***ing us
  • Welp, if you can’t finish quarters it won’t make it very easy on you.
  • Cool 23-2 run for the Thunder. Wonder how that feels?
  • PG is going to hit 50. Dick.
  • ****ing hell
  • Missed our shot. Literally
  • make your damn wide open shots!!
  • **** these refs… are you serious?
  • If this isn’t clear ****ing proof that stars get special ****ing treatment I don’t know what is! **** this is a joke!
  • this game is so frustrating… can’t make 3 in 4th q
  • Mitchell only plays good in yellow shoes.
  • He won’t make them both.
  • Good lord.
  • Choke
  • Wtf. I mean. Wtf
  • DM needs a reality check.
  • lmfao those FTs are the story of Mitchell’s season so far
  • Totally ****ed in the *** by the refs.
  • Maybe for Christmas Santa will teach the Jazz how to make a layup and they can win these games.
  • Buddy for Donovan? Kings hang up the phone
  • The Westbrook no call was a blessing for us. His horrid play let us get back into it in the end.
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