Tag - Alex Abrines

Thunder Playoff Game Day: Game 1 vs. Utah Jazz

SERIES IS TIED 0-0

Sunday, April 15 :: 5:30 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
TV Coverage: TNT (245 DirecTV, 31 Cox, 730 HD 108 AT&T U-Verse, 138 Dish)
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 3½-point favorite. The over/under is 206.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Jazz: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • Welcome to the 2018 NBA Playoffs, the Thunder’s long time real season. Sure, those 82 games mean something but we all knows players like Russell Westbrook thrive in these moments. 51-point triple-double against Houston. 43-point barn burner against Miami in the NBA Finals. This is stage and he’s a rockstar.
  • The Oklahoma City Thunder host the Utah Jazz in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. The two teams have never met in the playoffs. The two teams have never met while the Thunder have been in Oklahoma City.
  • Oklahoma City lost to the Houston Rockets in the first round last season 4-1, winning Game 3, losing the rest.
  • Last season was the first season in six seasons the Jazz made the playoffs. They beat the Clippers in the first round and were swept in the second round by the Warriors.

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.
  • Matt Pinto 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).
  • Tonight’s game is on TNT as well. Ian Eagle, Brent Barry and Dennis Scott have the call for Turner.

SCOUTING THE JAZZ

  • The Utah Jazz finished the regular season 48-34 on the season, fifth in the Western Conference.
  • Oklahoma City, New Orleans and Utah all finished with the same record. However, the Thunder’s best overall record between the three teams is what secured the Thunder the fourth seed.
  • Over their last 10 games, Utah is 7-3.
  • In their last 10 road games, the Jazz are 7-3.
  • All-time against Utah, the Thunder are 106-78.
  • Since relocation from Seattle, Oklahoma City is 27-12 against the Jazz.
  • When the games are played at the ‘Peake, the Thunder are dominant. They’ve won 14 straight against the Jazz.
  • Utah hasn’t won in Oklahoma City since the arena was named Oklahoma City Arena.
  • The Thunder are 17-2 against the Jazz in the OKC era at home.
  • In the regular season, Oklahoma City won the series, going 3-1 against Utah.
  • You really have to throw the season series out of the window as the last meeting happened on Dec. 23 and the Thunder are a much different team since the loss of Andre Roberson.
  • Oklahoma City is 10-2 against the Jazz dating back to the start of the 2015-16 season.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Utah came on Dec. 20, 2017, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 107-79 (28-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (21 points) vs. Utah occurred during a 120-99 loss on Oct. 31, 2010

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out for the season.
  • Alex Abrines (concussion) is probable as he went through practice the last couple of days.
  • Corey Brewer (knee sprain) is probably and expected to play after going through practice.

JAZZ INJURY REPORT

  • Thabo Sefolosha (knee) is out.

CONNECTIONS

  • Thabo Sefolosha spent six seasons with the Thunder.
  • Alec Burks Andre Roberson played together at Colorado (2010-11).
  • Jonas Jerebko and Kyle Singler were teammates in Detroit for three seasons (2012-15).
  • Jazz Head Coach Quin Snyder, Jazz Assistant Coach Antonio Lang and Singler all played at Duke.

WHAT’S IN A JAZZ NAME

  • No, Utah isn’t known for its Jazz. The team originated in New Orleans in 1974 and club officials decided to keep the name after relocating to Salt Lake City in 1979.
  • The Jazz nickname was originally chosen through a name-the-team contest, which produced seven other finalists: Dukes, Crescents, Pilots, Cajuns, Blues, Deltas, and Knights.
  • Deltas would’ve translated to Salt Lake City rather well (the airline of the same name has a hub there), while Cajuns may have been even worse than Jazz.



Three Keys to the Game

Paint scoring

Rudy Gobert is a monster and for that, Oklahoma City has to find a way to attack the paint and score. Utah is second best in the NBA in defending paint scoring, only allowing 41.8 points in the paint per game. Oklahoma City averages 43, so they need to find a way to beat their average.

Rebounding

Utah is 35-8 when they win the rebounding battle and they only allow 10.9 second chance points per game. The Jazz are also only 19-21 when allowing 11 or more second chance scoring. They’re 29-13 when they allow 10 or less. Oklahoma City MUST find a way to gobble up offensive boards and make the Jazz pay. This goes back to Steven Adams.

Share the ball

Oklahoma City continues their sharing ways, they’ll be good. Oklahoma City is 31-12 when Westbrook has at least 10 assists. he’s averaging 22.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 10.0 assists in four games against Utah. If Westbrook could get to that 10 assist mark that means two things: 1) he’s trusting his teammates and 2) those said teammates are hitting their shots.

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Thunder Game Day No. 82: vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Oklahoma City Thunder (47-34, 20-20 away)

at

Memphis Grizzlies (22-59, 6-34 away)

Wednesday, April 11 :: 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 16½-point favorite. The over/under is 211½.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Grizzlies: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • Welcome to the final day of the 2017-18 NBA regular season! The Thunder host the Memphis Grizzlies in a game that weirdly enough has a lot of meaning.
  • Oklahoma City hasn’t lost at home to Memphis since Nov. 7, 2014.
  • The Thunder need a victory to move into the fourth seed, but they’ll need help Utah has to lose to in Portland tonight. If that happens, Oklahoma City will host the Jazz.
  • If Oklahoma City wins and the Jazz win, Oklahoma City will be the sixth seed. They’ll travel to Utah for the first round.
  • If the worst happens, and Oklahoma City loses, they’ll be the eighth seed and go to Houston.
  • Oklahoma City finished their death march, 11 straight games vs. teams .500 or better 5-6, which is better than some predicted.
  • Russell Westbrook also needs 16 rebounds to become the first person in NBA history to have two seasons of a triple-double average. He’ll also be the first person who would have back-to-back seasons with the triple-double average.
  • Westbrook has two triple-doubles in both games he played against Memphis this season.

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.
  • Brian Davis 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 GRIZZLIES

  • The Memphis Grizzlies are 22-59 on the season, 14th place in the Western Conference.
  • Over their last 10 games, Memphis is 3-7.
  • In their last 10 road games, the Grizzlies are 1-9, including four straight.
  • In their previous game, Memphis lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves 113-94 on Monday night.
  • In their all-time history, Oklahoma City is 59-26 against Memphis.
  • Since relocation for the Thunder, Oklahoma City is 22-14.
  • Surprisingly, despite the large point spread tonight, neither team has been favored by 10 points or more in the series.
  • Oklahoma City is 12-5 against Memphis at the Peake, winning five straight.
  • The last loss at home to the Grizzlies: Nov 7, 2014, the injury plagued season.
  • Oklahoma City goes for the four-game season sweep. It would be the first season sweep in the series by either team.
  • Oklahoma City beat Memphis 121-114 on Feb. 14, a large comeback in the fourth quarter led to the victory.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Tyreke Evans (Personal) is out.
    Marc Gasol (rest) is out.
    JaMychal Green (knee) is out.
    Andrew Harrison (wrist) is out.
    Wayne Selden Jr. (knee) is out.
    Jarell Martin (ankle) is out.
    Chandler Parsons (knee) is out.
    Mike Conley (heel) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Memphis came on Dec. 8, 2015, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 125-88 (37-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (34 points) vs. Memphis occurred during a 114-80 loss on Dec. 19, 2016.

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

  • Andre Roberson (ruptured patellar tendon) is out for the season.
  • Alex Abrines (concussion) is out.

Playoff Scenarios

  • There are three playoff scenarios remaining for the Thunder. They’ll need help. Here they are:
  • Thunder win + Utah win over Portland = Oklahoma City 4th seed and would host the Jazz in the first round.
  • Thunder win + Portland win over Utah = Oklahoma City 6th seed and would travel to Utah in the first round.
  • Oklahoma City loss to Memphis tonight = Oklahoma City 8th seed and would travel to Houston in the first round.

WHAT’S IN A GRIZZLIES NAME

  • When Vancouver was awarded an expansion franchise in 1994 to begin play the following season, the team’s owners had tentative plans to name the team the Mounties.
  • The Royal Mounted Canadian Police and fans alike objected, so team officials resumed their search for a name. The local newspaper sponsored a name-the-team contest, which club officials monitored before choosing Grizzlies, an indigenous species to the area, over Ravens.
  • When the team relocated to Memphis before the 2001-02 season, FedEx was prepared to offer the Grizzlies $100 million to rename the team the Express, but the NBA rejected the proposal.



Three Keys to the Game

Bench

Though the bench is 29th in scoring, they’ve been key down the stretch. They were large on Monday night in the comeback against Miami. They were big against Houston. The starters should dominate tonight. Oklahoma City needs the bench to keep the tide the way it is.

Efficiency is key

Oklahoma City is 31-4 when when they outshoot their opponent. Oklahoma City comes out, shoot better, they’re most likely going to run away with this. It’s huge for Memphis to win games. The Grizzlies are 3-49 when they’re outshot by their opponents. Surprisingly enough, the Thunder have been outshot in two of the three games. Cannot give these back ups a real chance. Shoot well.

Rebound

Oklahoma City has to win the rebounding battle tonight. The Thunder are 34-11 when they have the same or more rebounds as their opponents. They’re a fun 13-23 when they lose the rebounding battle. Plus, we want to see Westbrook go bananas.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Thunder beat Rockets 108-102

In a game that you could say is a must win, Russell Westbrook played fantastic defense and the Oklahoma City Thunder stunned the Houston Rockets 108-102 on Saturday night.

With the win, Oklahoma City improves to 46-34 on the season but remain seventh in the Western Conference playoff race as San Antonio and New Orleans also won on Saturday night.

Oklahoma City ended Houston’s 20-game home winning streak and the Thunder win the season series for the first time since 2013-14.

It appeared it could’ve all been done with as Houston was gaining momentum heading into the fourth quarter but Jerami Grant used all his might to will the Thunder into the lead. Grant fueled Oklahoma City’s 9-2 run to start the fourth quarter, which was capped on a Paul George jumper with 9:14 left in regulation.

Gerald Green threw in a floater, giving Houston the 92-91 lead with 7:09 remaining.

Oklahoma City would go on an 11-0 run to ice the game.

It started with a Westbrook pull up three. Patrick Patterson would hit the lay up and would be capped by a Westbrook lay up. When you looked up, the Thunder had built a 102-92 lead with 3:47 left in regulation

Houston went scoreless for more than four minutes, missing seven shots and committing three turnovers as Oklahoma City pulled away. The Thunder also blocked three shots in that span.

Houston would cut the lead 105-100 with 33.2 seconds remaining but Paul George and Alex Abrines would hit their free throws down the stretch to beat the Rockets.

The Thunder led by as many as 11 in the first half, but Houston used a 5-1 spurt take a 62-61 lead at halftime.

Westbrook finished with 24 points on 10-of-28 from the floor, seven rebounds and 10 assists. Steven Adams only played in 28 minutes but finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.

Carmelo Anthony was instrumental in the Thunder building a double digit first half lead. He was 3-of-3 in the first half from deep for 17 points. He finished with 22 points and six rebounds on the evening.

George struggled throughout the third but came up big in the fourth quarter. George finished with 24 points on 6-of-17 shooting, 3-of-7 from deep and was 9-of-10 from the free throw line tonight.

Oklahoma City now has to win one of their final two games to get into the playoffs. They’ll go to Miami on Monday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. If Oklahoma City wins, they’re in the playoffs. Lose and they’ll have to hope for a Nuggets loss or beat the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night.

Keys to the Game

Force Turnovers: B

Oklahoma City forced 17 turnovers tonight, leading to 22 points. That’s huge as the Thunder lead the league in points off turnovers. They have to continue to do this as they go forward. To do this against the Rockets is a good start.

Free Throw: A+

Oklahoma City took 10 more free throws than Houston tonight. Paul George went 9-of-10 from the line. Westbrook went 3-of-5 from the line. Holding the Rockets to only 23 free throws was the biggest thing tonight. It’s the lowest total for Houston since March 27 against Chicago.

OK3: A+

Oklahoma City improved to 14-3 when three players scored at least 20 points each. They were in sync all night and really showed what they can do when they’re all clicking. They didn’t seem like they were forcing anything and it paid off in the fourth quarter.

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Thunder continue to Brewer up some wins

Some may not have been found of the signing but with the Oklahoma City Thunder adding Corey Brewer, it may have just saved their season.

The entire season changed on Jan. 27. Oklahoma City was riding a six-game winning streak and then an ill-fated alley-oop sent Andre Roberson to the sidelines for the rest of the season and the Thunder with their hopes of taking down the Golden State Warriors or the Houston Rockets were left blowing in the wind.

There have been some that’ve called it already.

“There’s a bounce to him all the time. He brings energy,” Billy Donovan said. “I’m not comparing him and Andre in any way personality-wise or player-wise, but the one thing I will compare them, they both have a pop and a bounce to them where they play the game where they find the ball. They find it and are able to make plays.”

Pre-Andre Roberson Oct. 19-Jan. 27 (49 games) (NBA Rank)

OKC 106.0 (13th) ORTG 106.9 (10th)

OPP 101.8 (4th) DRTG 103.1 (5th)

Scoring Differential: 4.2 (5th)

Rating Differential: 3.9 (5th)

During the 15 games without Roberson and before Brewer, Oklahoma City ran really three different starting lineups on the floor (We’re ignoring three games where Oklahoma City had other starters out).

The first one was the addition of Terrance Ferguson. The rookie’s ability has been questionable at best this season. He’s had some moments where you really like what he has to offer but there are other games where you question his ability as an NBA player. In 12 starts this season for Ferguson, the Thunder are only 5-7.

When Roberson went down, he got the nod over the next five games, Ferguson posted a minus-8.2 on the plus/minus scale. The worst on the the team during that span. In fact, over the span of those dates (Jan. 28-Feb. 4), Ferguson posted the 12th worst plus/minus in the NBA. It showed as the Thunder went 1-4 with Ferguson as the starter.

Post-AR Jan. 28-March 2 (15 games)

OKC 108.8 (12th) ORTG 107.5 (17th)

OPP 110.0 (19th) DRTG 108.4 (18th)

Scoring Differential: -1.2 (20th)

Rating Differential: -0.9 (19th)

The next option was Alex Abrines, the second year Spaniard. While the Thunder ended their losing streak, it’s still not the same. In eight games, the Thunder are only 4-4. Abrines started two games with the full starting line up, one without. In those two games, Oklahoma City gave up 120 and 114 points.

Next, it’s Josh Huestis, who many feel is under-utilized on the roster. He’s started 10 games this season, like Abrines only going .500 in his time in the lineup (5-5). While Hustis provides some length, it’s his inexperience at times.

In walks Brewer.

Corey Brewer Era March 3-Present (10 games)

OKC 111.3 (11th) ORTG 109.4 (13th)

OPP 105.6 (11th) ORTG 104.5 (9th)

Scoring Differential: 5.7 (7th)

Rating Differential: 4.9 (9th)

In seven games as the starter in Oklahoma City, Brewer has inserted a renewed energy and vigor. Oklahoma City is 7-1 over that span and the stats are sporting more than only wins. Over those eight games, the Thunder are sporting an offensive rating of 111.5, compared to a defensive rating of 101.9. Only the Jazz and 76ers sport a better differential over the same span.

“It’s great, man, to be able to get a guy moving around, cutting,” Russell Westbrook said. “Kind of fits right back in because Dre was really good at that as well, moving around, cutting, and he did a good job of that tonight.”

 

Corey Brewer Starting March 8-Present (8 games)

OKC 112.6 (7th) ORTG 111.5 (7th)

OPP 103.3 (6th) ORTG 101.9 (6th)

Scoring Differential: 9.4 (2nd)

Rating Differential: 9.6 (3rd)

Brewer is the real deal. While he may not be Roberson. He may not be the Defensive Player of the Year. What he Brewer is, is a player who’s bought in and has something to prove. He’s only 32. While he may be on the back end of things, he’s showing he can still be a valuable player to a playoff team. He’s everything the Thunder wanted out of other buyout players such as Derek Fisher and Caron Butler.

Before Brewer, Oklahoma City had a realistic chance at making the playoffs. Now that Brewer has arrived in Bricktown, the Thunder are right in the middle of getting home court in the first round of the playoffs.

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Bench squad powers OKC past San Antonio 104-94

In what was essentially a coast-to-coast lead, the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs 104-94 in a crucial showdown in the Western Conference playoff race on Saturday night.

With the victory, the Thunder jumped to fifth in the Western Conference standings and are now 39-29 on the season with only 14 games left this season.

If I had told you Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony would combine for 34 points on 11-of-39 shooting, you would likely assume the Thunder lost against the Spurs. Surprisingly, the Thunder bench, the one that is ranked last in the NBA averaging 25.6 points per game, scored 50 points, 50 POINTS, shooting 19-of-32 on field goals.

In the first quarter, it seemed like both teams forgot how to play basketball or were still recovering from Friday night. Besides Westbrook who went 7-of-15 and shockingly got another triple-double, 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists, Anthony (1-of-8 for two points) and George (4-of-16 for 11 points) had rough nights.

However, Corey Brewer, in his second start, his impact in the starting lineup was evident whether it was on offense or defense; Brewer’s better at moving and cutting off the ball than Josh Huestis, Alex Abrines, or Terrence Ferguson.

“He’s a guy when he’s involved, when he’s encouraged,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said. “He plays really, really well.”

In the second quarter and the rest of the game, things picked up for the Thunder and it was mostly because of the Thunder’s bench. Jerami Grant 15 points and eight rebounds, Patrick Patterson 10 points, and Abrines 11 points were instrumental in the Thunder maintaining their lead in the second quarter going into halftime at 52-43.

The Thunder managed to avoid their season theme of losing a lead in the third quarter, but they did lose Steven Adams eight points and only one rebound to a sprained ankle for the rest of the game. Adams did not return from the locker room and his status is unclear.

In the fourth quarter, the Thunder broke the game open, which led to a 21-point lead, but the Thunder cannot win easy, so things briefly got interesting for a couple of minutes late in the fourth, before Westbrook ended any fears of a potential choke job.

Nick Collison came in for some crucial minutes. The savvy veteran scored seven points in six game minutes, going 3-of-4 from the floor and grabbing two rebounds. He received MVP chants as he shot free throws in the fourth quarter. Mr. Thunder’s legend grew on tonight.

“A total pro. He comes ready to play every day,” Donovan said. “Nick keeping himself prepared and going in there he did a great job.”

The Thunder has its next two games against sub .500 as they host the Sacramento Kings on Monday night and the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night. It’s the rare home-and-home back-to-back. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Brady Trantham and Erik Gee will be in arena for all your game day coverage.

Keys to the Game

Thunder Defense: A-

Overall, the Thunder played great on defense. While they lost the turnover battle 14:15, the defense whether George and Westbrook or Grant and Patterson, the Thunder’s length and speed annoyed the Spurs and resulted in many deflections. Additionally, it was evident the Thunder’s game plan was double LaMarcus Aldridge whenever he touched the ball and try to deflect the ball whenever he passed it. Aldridge struggled all night and finished with 11 points on 5-of-16 shooting.

Rebounding: A+

Oklahoma City a fantastic job on the boards tonight. Time after time, they limited the Spurs to only one-and-done opportunities. Oklahoma City’s rebounding really has come into their own as late. Also, Oklahoma City is now a killer 28-10 when they win the rebounding battle. Considering they lost Adams for a good chunk of the second half to an ankle sprain, it’s even more impressive they won it tonight.

Turnovers: B

Only 15 turnovers for the Thunder and really, it’s “only” 15 turnovers. Oklahoma City had been averaging north of 16 turnovers since the all-star break, so to bring it under that was a job well done. Westbrook and George had nine of the 15, which leads you show the rest of the team did a great job taking care of the ball tonight.

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Bench mob shines in OKC’s 112-105 win vs. Magic

The Oklahoma City bench scored 48 points en route to the Oklahoma City Thunder topping the Orlando Magic 112-105 on Monday night.

Oklahoma City is now 35-27 on the season, they’ve won three of their last four.

The bench mob performed amazing in a time where the Big Three were less than stellar. Raymond Felton had 13 points, including 3-of-3 from beyond the three-point line. Alex Abrines scored 12, Patrick Patterson went 2-of-2 from the three line, with 11 points and Jerami Grant’s monster dunks gave him 10 for the game.

With the victory, Oklahoma City avoided getting swept by the Magic for the first time since year one in Oklahoma City.

The win moved the Thunder up to sixth in the Western Conference playoff race for a moment. New Orleans beating Phoenix dropped Oklahoma City back to seventh, as the Pelicans jumped to fifth.

After the Thunder allowed Orlando to drop 38 points in the first quarter, they did a solid job of holding Orlando to 43 in the second half. Oklahoma City defense struggled at times, especially with backdoor cuts and closing out on three-point shooters. Orlando hit 12 three-pointers and was the biggest reason for this close game.

After trailing 62-61 at halftime, the Thunder opened the second half scoring six straight.

Orlando took a 77-75 lead with 2:20 left to go in the third. The Thunder responded with a 9-0 run, taking an 84-77 lead into the fourth and keeping the lead for good.

The Magic climbed to within 86-83 early in the fourth but the Thunder responded with a run of their own, grabbing their largest lead at 103-91 with 5:55 left in the fourth.

Paul George scored 26 points on 9-of-20 shooting tonight. He also grabbed eight rebounds in the victory. For George it was an impressive turn around after his poor 1-of-14 shooting in the blowout loss to the Warriors on Saturday night.

Steven Adams scored 16 points and Russell Westbrook had eight points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for the Thunder. Westbrook had a couple of opportunities to get a triple-double but either took a bad shot or finally decided to pass to his teammates. He has 97 career triple-doubles.

Oklahoma City will travel down I-35 to play the Dallas Mavericks at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. Oklahoma City has split with the Mavericks so far this season. We’ll have your continual game coverage here and on social media.

Keys to the Game

Hit their shots: A+

Oklahoma City shot 48 percent from the field and nailed 44 percent from beyond the arc. All of that wraps up to be a pretty stellar offensive evening. This type of production comes against teams like the Magic. It would be nice to see the Thunder do this against quality competition.

Big 3: F

Sure, George scored 26 but it was the other two who pulled down this F. Carmelo Anthony looked old. Russell Westbrook looked out of sync and even tired. You can win these type of games against the Magic or even Dallas. However, the other playoff contending teams is where this will hurt you.

Turnovers: F

20 turnovers for the Thunder tonight, leading to only 16 points for the Magic. That could’ve been a lot worse. However, quality defensive possessions and getting back on defense really helped prevent it from being a lot worse.

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George’s 33 powers OKC to blow out Memphis 110-92

The Oklahoma City Thunder stopped a two-game skid by obliterating the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday evening 110-92.

Oklahoma City improves to 32-25 on the season, and has a full hold on fifth place in the Western Conference.

The start was ominous as the Grizzlies started the game out 6-0 and Oklahoma City had more turnovers than points but Oklahoma City responded with a quick run to tie the game up at 10-all.

Once again, the Thunder were without Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony for the second consecutive game. The Thunder are listing the two superstars game-by-game. Both went through warm ups but did not play.

Memphis took a 12-10 lead with 6:16 left in the first quarter but that’s when the Thunder went bananas. Oklahoma City would go on a 25-6 run to end the quarter.

Oklahoma City would lead 74-54 at halftime.

The lead would balloon to as many as 28 in the third quarter as Oklahoma City held an 82-54 lead off a Paul George pull up three-pointer with 10:24 left in the third quarter. The Grizzlies though, would try to make the game respectable.

Memphis would go on a 24-10 burst, cutting the deficit down to 13 with 1:58 left in the third but Oklahoma City would not allow Memphis’ field goal over a span of 7 minutes and 59 seconds. During that time, Oklahoma City would push their lead from 13 to 27 points.

The Thunder would finish the game 16-of-37 from three-point range, tying a franchise record for makes in a single game. They had done it twice before, once against Miami in 2013 and once against New York in this year’s season opener.

George would finish with 33 points on 10-of-24 shooting, including five three-pointers. George went 8-of-11 at the free throw line and dished out eight assists.

Including George, the Thunder put five players into double figures, including four starters. Steven Adams finished with nine points and nine rebounds. Patrick Patterson had 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Raymond Felton finished with 14 points, six rebounds and eight assists with only one turnover in his Russell Westbrook impression.

Jerami Grnat scored 14 points off the bench to lead the Thunder reserves.

Oklahoma City will now prepare for the new look Cleveland Cavaliers for a Tuesday night showdown. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oklahoma City thumped the Cavaliers big in Cleveland in their first meeting, so you know LeBron James will be looking for revenge.

Keys to the Game

Alex Abrines: A+

With Abrines stepping into the starting line up, his productions was key and it showed true tonight. The usual back up two-guard scored 16 points for the game. He went 4-of-7 from beyond the three-point line. Oklahoma City did a great job getting Abrines into rhythm early.

Don’t let up: A+

Sure, the Grizzlies found a way to cut it down to 13 once but that’s about it. the Oklahoma City Thunder did a really great job of finding and elevating any comeback by the Grizzlies. Jerami Grant was huge off the bench and did a really good job as an energy guy off the bench as the Thunder won big tonight.

Shoot the three: A+

No one saw this coming but the Thunder hit lightning from deep! The Thunder drained 16 three-pointers tonight, tying a franchise record for makes in a single game. Oklahoma City was on it. At point, they were shooting 55.6 percent in the second half from deep.

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Thunder interested in Tony Allen

The Oklahoma City Thunder need some perimeter defensive help. That much is obvious as they’ve allowed 12.0 three-point buckets per game over the last four games. They’re 1-4 without Andre Roberson. Because of that, the Thunder have made inquiries into the new Chicago Bull, Tony Allen.

Known as the Grindfather for his hard nosed, never quit style in Memphis, Allen was recently traded from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Chicago Bulls on Thursday, Feb. 1. It was reported by Adrian Wojnarwoski the Bulls didn’t really have intent to keep Allen.

That’s where the Oklahoma City Thunder come in.

According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that “league sources said the Bulls and Thunder have engaged in talks with at least Tony Allen’s expiring deal involved.”

No Andre Roberson and a horrible turn of events defensively, Allen in theory could be the right fit.

Allen, 36, is still not an offensive threat as he’s only averaging 4.7 points, 2.1 rebounds on 48.4 percent per game, including 33.3 percent from three-point range. On the surface, Allen is still a defensive juggernaut but he really isn’t anymore. He hasn’t posted a decent defensive rating (In my mind, 102 or below, since 2014-15, when he was with the Grizzlies.

Though, it’s been said, the 36-year-old from Oklahoma State is still better than watching Alex Abrines try to defend Klay Thompson. Allen could help be a short stoppage for the remainder of the season.

If the Thunder were to sign Allen, he would garner approximately $868,311 for the remainder of the season, with it getting lower everyday.

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Thunder embarrassed at home by Lake show 108-104

The Oklahoma City Thunder forgot the game started at 1 p.m. and didn’t show up until about three minutes left in the game. The Lakers nailed 13 three-pointers as Los Angeles beat the Thunder 108-104 on Sunday afternoon.

Oklahoma City falls to 30-24 on the season and now have lost four straight games. They’re 1-4 since losing Andre Roberson to season ending surgery.

While the loss to the Sacramento Kings back in February might go down as the worst loss of the season, this loss may go down as one of the worst home losses in the Thunder’s shorty decade in existence. The Lakers aren’t very good and were without their starting point guard. A bit of a hot take with this, but the Thunder must win games like this if they want to be in position when April rolls around.

“We have to defend better for the whole game,” Russell Westbrook said. “When the game starts you have to be ready to go.”

It’s the Los Angeles Laker’s first win in Oklahoma City since Feb. 27, 2011. A man by the name of Kobe Bryant had 17 points in that game.

It started from the beginning, threes were falling and it really appeared the Thunder weren’t going to do anything about it. Los Angeles finished the game 13-of-30 from beyond the arc (43.3 percent). It’s the fourth game out of the last five in which a Thunder opponent has made at least 38 percent from three-point range.

I’m most concerned about that defensively, to be honest with you, is our three-point defense,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan. “I’m really concerned about that.”

Oklahoma City grabbed a 37-34 lead on a Paul George three. It appeared the Thunder had finally overcome the Lakers three-point barrage. However, back-to-back buckets gave Los Angeles the lead for good.

The Thunder trailed 51-49 at halftime.

Westbrook scored 36 points and Paul George added 26 for the Thunder as they were really the only two who showed up today. 20 of Westbrook’s 36 came in the second half. George had 17 in the second half as well.

Carmelo Anthony was invisible, going 3-of-13 for 10 points. Steven Adams had eight points at halftime but finished with only 12 points and five rebounds.

It really came down to the bench, which didn’t show up, either. Oklahoma City’s bench went 7-of-23 (30.4 percent) and were almost outscored by Jordan Clarkson on his own (Clarkson 18, OKC Bench 20).

George drained a three-pointer with 24.7 seconds left, bringing Oklahoma City to 107-104. Oklahoma City fouled Julius Randle on the ensuing play and he was only able to hit 1-of-2 free throws. Westbrook bricked a long three-pointer to ice the game.

Oklahoma City will now turn their attention on the hated Golden State Warriors. The Thunder will head to the bay area on Tuesday for a 9:30 p.m. showdown on TNT. Oklahoma City is 1-0 vs. the Warriors this season, a 108-91 win on Nov. 22.

Keys to the Game

Limit threes: F

The Lakers nailed 13 three-pointers and Oklahoma City didn’t do much to stop them. Oklahoma City’s close outs were soft according to Billy Donovan. Over their four-game losing streak, the Thunder are allowing 12 three-pointers per game. Just an absolute embarrassment by the Thunder’s defense.

Bench: F

Josh Huestis and Alex Abrines combined to go 1-of-8 from the floor. Raymond Felton struggled, too. He went 2-of-6. Oklahoma City’s bench just didn’t hold their weight today. Which, in all honesty, has been the same story for the last two seasons.

Russell Westbrook: B

While Westbrook scored 36 points on 15-of-25 shooting, his turnovers were at times pointless and careless. Westbrook is going to have a high turnover mark. It’s just a given with how much he handles the ball. However, nine turnovers is way too many tonight. Some seemed sloppy and careless. He has to do better.

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Thunder steal one against Kings 95-88

The energy and play in the first half was apathetic at best. The play and the score reflected as so. However, even after falling behind by nine in the second half, the Oklahoma City Thunder fought back for a nice 95-88 win over the lowly Sacramento Kings on a frigid Monday night.

The Thunder improved to 24-20 on the season and have won back-to-back games, securing a strong hold on fifth place in the Western Conference.

The Thunder rallied from a 15-point first half deficit on the backs of the big three in their own ways. Despite Westbrook’s plethora of first half turnovers, if it wasn’t for him, the first half deficit of only six could’ve been 14. In the second half it was Carmelo Anthony and Paul George who finished with 20 and 18 points, respectively, fueling the Thunder’s comeback.

The Thunder trailed the Kings (13-30) at the break 54-48.

Oklahoma City’s defense held the Kings to 30.9 percent in the second half from the floor. It’s in stark contrast as 48 percent allowed in the first half.

Sacramento took a 58-49 lead with less than 40 seconds into the second half. It appeared it was going to be a replay of the first half. A Westbrook driving lay up, followed by three-pointers by Anthony and George tied the game up at 61-all with 7:15 left in the quarter.

Anthony hit a three to give Oklahoma City a 64-61 lead and their first lead in what felt like forever. Steven Adams cutting to the rim to give the Thunder a 68-66 lead with 4:18 remaining. Oklahoma City would never trail again.

A 41-16 run for the Thunder capped off the comeback in the face of the adversity they’ve struggled against all season.

With 2:51 left in the game, Westbrook was popped with two quick technical fouls, ejecting him from the contest. Westbrook was complaining about being hit in the face on a play where he was called for traveling. Official matt Boland T’d him quickly as the Thunder led 91-77.

Shortly after the Westbrook ejection, the NBA’s youngest official, Gediminas Petraitis, popped Billy Donovan with a technical foul. After the dust settled, the Thunder only led 91-83 with 2:51. The Thunder’s defense held the Kings to only one made bucket the final three minutes of the game.

After both the Thunder and Kings couldn’t score in the first 3:16 of the fourth, the Thunder responded to a Willie Cauley-Stein bucket with back-to-back Patrick Patterson three-pointers. Alex Abrines capped off the run with an 86-70 lead with 7:11 left in the game.

Oklahoma City will host the Los Angeles Lakers (15-28) on Wednesday night inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN, so those outside of the Thunder TV market will get to watch this one. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Keys to the Game

Defend the three: A

Oklahoma City held the Kings to 7-of-29 from the arc, including 3-of-14 in the second half. The Thunder’s ability to defend the perimeter really paid off. It’s a large part in why the Thunder were able to win this one.

Bench: B

Oklahoma City’s bench scored 23 points, including 10 from from Patterson, a season high. The key plays at the beginning of the fourth were instrumental in how Oklahoma City was able to extend the their lead at a crucial juncture in the contest.

Big Three: C

While the Big three combined for 57 of the 95 points, their first half performance earns them a C overall. It was a bad F in the first half. However, Anthony’s ability to contribute and Westbrook persistence really helped this team. They all can play better and must play better.

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