Author - Chuck Chaney

Game Day #33: Thunder at Celtics

Boston Celtics (15-16, 4-8 road) at Oklahoma City Thunder (25-7, 13-1 Home)

 at 

Where: The ‘Peake!
When: 6:00 p.m.
TV:
 ESPN (206 Directv, 28 Cox, 602 AT&T U-Verse, 140 Dish)
Online Stream: Here.
Radio: WWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the Enemy: Here.
Projected Lineups:

Thunder:
Celtics:

Last time: Oklahoma City beat the Celtics in Boston 97-88.

Well, the Celtics come into tonight’s game short handed. Rajon Rondo is sitting out the second of a two game suspension. Kevin Garnett sat out against the Mavericks, but he’s expected to join Boston in Oklahoma City.

The Celtics are coming off a 89-73 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Celtics struggled to score the entire game. Didn’t help that was the first game of Rondo’s two game suspension.

Oklahoma City had to fight off a pesky Hornets squad that battled back from 24 points down. Oklahoma City eventually came away with the 101-93 victory.

Remember tonight’s game is at 6 p.m. Plan accordingly. With people leaving work and heading down town, parking could be a huge pain.

Keys to the Game

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James Harden Has His Own Shoe… Kinda

 

While Serge Ibaka might have a deal with Adidas and Kevin Durant is releasing his multi-colored shoes all across the country and giving them away here in Oklahoma City. James Harden has gotten his own slipper. The TOMS shoes, you know the ones where if you buy a pair of shoes, they’ll give a pair to a child in need.

As I did some digging on the shoes, looking to get you all a link to buy them. Looks like they were custom made by Sydney Purcell. Apparently a huge Harden fan here in Oklahoma City.

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OKC holds on 101-93, Wins 9th Straight Home Game

Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

In a game where Oklahoma City never trailed, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook both chipped in 31 points a piece as Oklahoma City survived a late rally by the New Orleans Hornets to win 101-93. The win improves Oklahoma City to 25-7 and 13-1 at home. It’s the ninth straight home victory for the Thunder. The New Orleans Hornets dropped to 7-24 and just 4-10 on the road.

The Thunder lead by as many as 24 midway through the third quarter when New Orleans starting to fight back. After a Jarrett Jack three-point shot in the third quarter, a disgusted Durant called a time out. Off the ensuing possession, Durant would score four points,  pushing the 18 point lead up to 22. Kendrick Perkins would have a put back, pushing the lead to 24 at 76-52.

After three quarters, Oklahoma City led 84-69. The Hornets fought hard. They cut it to 10 points with just 1:23 into the fourth quarter. Durant would check back in the game with 8 minutes to go and a 10 point lead. He pushed it to 14 when OKC led 90-76 at 7:37 left in the game.

Jarrett Jack tried his hardest. He scored 11 of the 24 points for the Hornets in the fourth quarter. However, wasn’t enough as Russell Westbrook was perfect from the line in the fourth quarter, going 6-6 in the final five minutes.

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Game Day #32: Hornets at Thunder

New Orleans Hornets (7-23, 4-9 road) at OKC Thunder (24-7, 12-1 home)

 at 

Where: The ‘Peake
When: 7:00 p.m.
TV:
 FSOK (DirectTV 679, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27, U-Verse 754)
Online Stream: Here.
Radio: WWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the Enemy: Here.
Projected Lineups:

Thunder:
Hornets:

How do the Thunder come down from that game last night? Do they have the legs to compete tonight? Probably. They’re young and back-to-backs are a normal thing in the NBA, even in a condensed schedule. However, they’ll come back and hopefully be able to put the hurt on this team tonight.

New Orleans is coming into tonight on a three game winning streak. I don’t think it’s just a coincidence since Chris Kaman returned to the line-up they’ve been on this win streak. The wins are over the Linning Knicks, Bucks and the Jazz.

They still don’t score a lot of points. They averaging just 87.3 points per game. They’ve hit 100 points just twice this season. Eric Gorden and Jarrett Jack are out for tonight’s game. Greivis Vasquez has been fantastic in replacement as the point guard.

We know how Oklahoma City is doing. Thabo and Lazar are out tonight. So are James Harden and Nick Collison.

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Durant and Westbrook combine for 91 points, OKC wins 124-118 in OT

Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

Oklahoma City trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half and by as many as nine in the fourth quarter. However, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka would not be beaten tonight. Durant led Oklahoma City with a career-high 51 points. Westbrook scored 40 points, 9 assists and just 2 turnovers. Ibaka had 14 points on 6-7 shooting with 15 rebounds and 11 blocks. Ibaka’s 15 rebounds was also a career-high.

Oklahoma City would survive late in regulation and pulled away in overtime. After a big Kevin Durant dunk, Oklahoma City led by three. Durant would hit the free throws down the end for the 124-118 victory for the Thunder. OKC improves to 24-7 on the season, including 12-1 at home. The Nuggets fought hard, but dropped to 17-15 on the season. Also, Nuggets are 9-8 on the road now.

Oklahoma City had a nice 14-2 run to give the Thunder a 25-17 lead late in the first quarter. The Nuggets would counter with a 10-0 to end the first quarter. Kevin Durant was unstoppable, he had 12 first quarter points, including two three point shots.

Nuggets would continue that run into the second quarter where they would grab their biggest lead of the game at 46-32, continuing a 29-7 run. Oklahoma City fought back. Kevin Durant had eight points in the run, fighting back from multiple double point deficits. OKC finished the half with a 5-0 run, capped off by a three-point shot that could have been from the third floor of the Devon Tower it was so deep.

Oklahoma City used the momentum they built in the first half into the second half. The Thunder ran off a 20-0 run through 5 minutes and 39 seconds spanning the second and third quarters. The Thunder maxed their biggest lead at 70-62 with 6:26 left in the quarter. The Nuggets would make a little noise of their own. A 15-6 run to get their first lead since early in the quarter.

In a game of runs, it was the same thing in the fourth quarter. the Nuggets got up nine points, Oklahoma City came back and tied it up. The Nuggets’ Ty Lawson hit a big three point shot with :54.4 seconds left. Then Durant missed on a layup. Al Harrington hit two free throws to push the lead to 111-106. Durant came back and answered with another three point shot, cutting it to 111-109. Lawson missed on the ensuing possession. OKC had a chance.

Durant took the ball on the in bound pass and took Andersen to the rim and scored on the dunk! Ty Lawson had a chance to win the game in regulation, but the shot was off the rim. We went to overtime tied at 111-111.

Westbrook started out overtime by hitting a big three point shot, giving OKC the ealry three point lead. OKC’s defense was stifling. Westbrook hit another big shot to give OKC another three point lead with 2:50 remaining in Overtime off the Denver turnover. Kostas Koufos with the put back off a Miller miss, cut the OKC lead to one point at 116-115. Great defense by James Harden caused Miller to travel late in overtime. Durant caused a steal and he took it the distance with the finger roll lay up with :57.1 Thunder lead 120-115.

Aaron Afflalo answered on the ensuing possesion with a BIG three-pont shot, cutting OKC’s lead to 120-118. Honey Badger Westbrook was not to be out-done. He shook off Miller and hit the jumper. The Nuggets would not be able to score again.

Ibaka did grab the rebound off a miss, tossed it to Durant as he was fouled. Durant hit both free throws. It gave Kevin Durant his first 50 points game in his career.

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Game Day #31: Nuggets at Thunder

Denver Nuggets (17-14, 9-7 away) at Oklahoma City Thunder (23-7, 11-1 home)

vs.

Where: The ‘Peake
When: 7:00 p.m.
TV:
 ESPN (206 Directv, 28 Cox, 602 AT&T U-Verse, 140 Dish)
Online StreamHere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the Enemy: Here.
Projected Lineups:

Thunder:
Nuggets:

So, we meet again.

Denver and Oklahoma City met in the first round of the playoffs last season and a little rivalry was born. Denver dominated when Carmelo Anthony was in Denver. Last season, Denver won the first meeting against the Thunder with Anthony, then he was traded. Oklahoma City went 3-0 after the trade and 4-1 in the playoffs.

Gone is JR Smith, Raymond Felton, Kenyon Martin and Wilson Chandler from last year’s playoff bout. However, the Nuggets weren’t fazed early on going 14-5 to start the season. However, since then Denver is just 3-9.  Doesn’t help that their best scorer, Danilo Galinari is out until early March.

The Nuggets and the Thunder are two of three top scoring teams in the league. Nuggets averaging 103.4 points per game and OKC is averaging 101.6 points per game. Unlike OKC though, Denver doesn’t play much defense, as the Nuggets are giving up over 100 points a ball game.

Couple of injuries for this game. Thabo Sefolosha is out.  Lazar Hayward is out. Danilo Galinari is out for Nuggets. Nene Hilario is also out for the Nuggets. Rudy Fernandez is a game time decision.

Keys to the game Read More

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View From Loud City – The Injury Update

The injury bug is officially hitting Oklahoma City. While a lot of them are minor injuries and some are serious, season ending injuries, the bug has hit.

Hard to believe just two seasons ago Oklahoma City starters played 78 of 82 games. This season, Oklahoma City has already used four different starting line-ups in the first 30 games.

Different Starting Line-ups

Games Wins Loses Win % Line-up
18 16 2 .889 K. Durant ▪ S. Ibaka ▪ K. Perkins ▪ T. Sefolosha ▪ R. Westbrook
9 6 3 .667 D. Cook ▪ K. Durant ▪ S. Ibaka ▪ K. Perkins ▪ R. Westbrook
2 0 2 0.000 K. Durant ▪ J. Harden ▪ S. Ibaka ▪ K. Perkins ▪ R. Westbrook
1 1 0 1.000 D. Cook ▪ K. Durant ▪ S. Ibaka ▪ N. Mohammed ▪ R. Westbrook

List of current injuries for Oklahoma City:

  • Eric Maynor – Torn ACL. Out for the season
  • Thabo Sefolosha – Tendon in the foot injury – out at least a month
  • Kendrick Perkins – knee contusion. Is day-to-Day. Should play vs. Denver.
  • Lazar Hayward – Eye contusion. Will be re-evaluated on Monday (2/20)
  • Russell Westbrook – sprained right ankle. Mild Sprain. is day-to-day. Should play vs. Denver.
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Thunder Win in Cake Walk, 110-87

Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

(AP) OKLAHOMA CITY — As the injuries pile up, the Oklahoma City Thunder have stayed ahead of any reckoning.

That could change after Russell Westbrook left Friday night’s 110-87 win over Golden State with what the team said was a sprained right ankle.

“We’ll just see how he feels tomorrow,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.

James Harden scored 25 points, Kevin Durant added 23 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder completed a season sweep of the Golden State Warriors.

But the All-Star point guard left the game with 1:13 left in the third quarter with what the team said was a sprained right ankle. He didn’t return.

But the Thunder improved to 23-7, the best record in the Western Conference, with their third win over the Warriors in 22 days.

Westbrook, who scored 18 points, was walking without a limp in the locker room afterward.

“It’s part of the game. Our organization, we don’t make excuses,” Scott said. “You play through it. You can’t do anything about it. We have a team full of guys who are capable of playing good minutes, solid minutes and hard minutes and they did.”

The Thunder were without center Kendrick Perkins (right knee contusion) and guard Thabo Sefolosha (right foot pain). Earlier this season, they lost backup point guard Eric Maynor to a season-ending knee injury.

David Lee led Golden State with 23 points. Monta Ellis, who scored 48 points the last time the teams played, had 11 in this one. Ellis went down moments after Westbrook, with 17.1 seconds left in the third quarter. The Warriors said Ellis had a hyperextended right knee, but could have returned if the game hadn’t been so lopsided.

Oklahoma City, which shot 52.7 percent from the field, improved to 6-1 in games played after a loss. The Thunder had lost 96-95 at Houston on Wednesday.

A 16-2 first-quarter run gave the Warriors a 24-17 lead and Golden State was up 39-36 with 5:28 left in the first half when the Thunder scored 10 straight points.

“We played hard and played together and we were able to get some transition baskets and some easy plays in our offense and cruised on from there,” Durant said.

Oklahoma City had three consecutive dunks during the run — first a one-hander by Durant, followed by an alley-oop from Durant to Harden and capped by a steal and one-handed jam by Westbrook that gave the Thunder a 46-39 lead. Oklahoma City stretched that margin to 58-48 by halftime.

“Second straight game, the second quarter hurt us,” Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. “Portland had a big second quarter and tonight we give up 38 points in the second quarter. We got some good looks (and it was) the first time in a long time we’ve struggled to make shots.

“Other than the second quarter, I thought we did a good job.”

Durant and Serge Ibaka opened up the second half with baskets for the Thunder and Golden State never cut the margin below double digits. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Royal Ivey and Durant fueled an 8-0 run to end the third quarter and put Oklahoma City up 84-65.

During that run, Westbrook steamed down the court after a steal before pulling up in the lane with 1:13 left in the quarter and hobbling off the court. Ellis’ injury occurred right in front of the Warriors’ bench.

Dorell WrightStephen Curry and Klay Thompson each scored 11 points for Golden State, playing the first game in a stretch during which the Warriors will play eight of nine games on the road. Wright added 11 rebounds. The Warriors shot 34.8 percent from the field (31 of 89).

“It’s a make-or-miss league and we just missed some shots,” Jackson said.

The Thunder went 10 of 24 from 3-point range, led by Durant (3 of 3), Harden (4 of 7) and Ivey (3 of 7).

“If guys go down then guys have to step up,” Ivey said. “Today I got the opportunity and I just tried to make the best of it. Being around these guys will give you a lot of confidence. We’ve been playing well this year and you don’t want to let your teammates down. You want to add to their success.”

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Game Day #30: Warriors at Thunder

Golden State Warriors (11-15, 3-6 road) at OKC Thunder (22-7, 10-1 home)

at

Where: The ‘Peake!
When: 7:00 p.m.
TV:
FSOK (DirectTV 679, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27, U-Verse 754)
Online Stream: Here.
Radio: WWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
Projected Lineups:

Thunder:
Warriors:

This will be the third meeting between these two, with Oklahoma City winning the two games by an scoring an average of 119.5 points per game. This will also be the first of five in a row at home for the Thunder.  Kevin Durant is averaging 35 points per game against the Warriors in their two match ups this season. Also, Russell Westbrook is averaging 29.5 points in the two games.

The Warriors are 3-1 in their last four games. Coincidentally, their last four games are since OKC and Golden State last played. Two of the three wins were against teams with winning records (Denver and Houston). Their one loss is to Portland by two points on Wednesday Night.

Thabo Sefolosha is still out. No injuries for the Warriors.

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Thunder Just Not Enough, Lose 96-95

AP Photo/Dave Einsel

Kevin Durant missed three shots in the final 16 seconds of the ball game. Even with Goran Dragic missing a pair of free throws, Oklahoma City couldn’t pull out the victory, falling 96-95 to the Houston Rockets. The loss drops the Thunder to 22-7 on the season, including 12-6 on the road. The victory improves Houston to 17-13 on the season, as well as 11-3 at home.

Oklahoma City scored a season low of 13 points in the first quarter, trailing 13-29 heading into the second quarter. The Thunder would trail by as many as 18 points in the first half before they started to find their stroke.  Oklahoma City’s run would cut the deficit to just 45-44 at the half.

The Thunder would grab their first lead of the ball game at 8:57 off a Durant three point shot, giving OKC the 55-52 lead. From that point forward, no team would lead by more than five points, exchanging blow by blow.

Late in the fourth quarter, Russell Westbrook hit a nice jump shot with 2:44 left in the quarter. That would be the last time Oklahoma City would score. The Thunder would go 0-9 from the floor in the final 2 minutes of the game. While, Houston would score in various ways. Dragic was fouled with :00.8 seconds left in the game. He missed both free throws, giving Oklahoma City an opportunity, but as time expired, Westbrook’s desperation heave was short.

Post Game Grades Read More

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