Tag - Chesapeake Energy Arena

NBA apparently reviewing if Russell Westbrook should be suspended for Game 5

It may be nothing but apparently the NBA is reviewing whether or not Russell Westbrook stepped on the court with or without the official’s permission in the moments where Westbrook and Rudy Gobert exchanged words.

During the exchange, Gobert was hit with a technical as he was upset already by Westbrook and the shot from Raymond Felton on the foul.

According to Andy Larsen of KSL.com:

A pool reporter request to the game officials to ask them about the play was initiated, but the NBA indicated that the officials wouldn’t comment on the matter because it would be reviewed by the league’s disciplinary committee.

This isn’t high school. Players rarely come on the court without official’s approval. Especially with the NBA’s rule on leaving the bench being an automatic suspension, it would be highly unlikely Westbrook would step on the court without being told to do so.

If the NBA reviews and finds out Westbrook stepped on the court and had words with Gobert, Westbrook would be suspended for Game 5. Which would be an absolute nightmare for Thunder fans. Being without the MVP for potentially their final game fo the season.

It would be the epitome of the season.

The NBA is most likely going to review the video and determine nothing happened with Westbrook and this will be an afterthought.

If you see the video, Westbrook is near half court when the interaction between and Gobert. So, I seriously doubt Westbrook rushed out to half court to approach Gobert. Though, we only have this vide and the NBA has many more angles. There were three play-by-play sets and three sets of cameras. So, they may be able to make more of a determination on what would happen.

The NBA will most likely only say something if Westbrook is suspended. If nothing happened, we’re probably not going to hear that.

Game 5 is set for 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25 at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The game will be on Fox Sports Oklahoma and on NBATV.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

George shreds Utah as Thunder take Game 1

“You haven’t heard of Playoff P,” Paul George asked yesterday in practice.

Some scoffed at that statement. Rightfully so considering George’s play since the All-Star break. Others lumped this into the long list of statements this wildly inconsistent Oklahoma City Thunder team has said since being formed in the offseason.

Well “Playoff P” showed up.

George was Mt. Vesuvius to the Utah Jazz’ Pompeii all evening as Oklahoma City beat Utah 116-108. He finished with 36 points on a ridiculous 13-for-20, including 8-for-11 from three. Step-back threes, in-rhythm shots and some silly heat checks were all falling for the All-Star forward.

“You tip your hat to guys that make shots like that,” Utah Jazz coach Quinn Snyder said during the postgame. “He’s a great player, and when you’ve got a guy like that, you’ve just got to do the best you can.”

Utah tried multiple coverages and defenders on George. The Jazz’ bread and butter drop defensive coverage allowed George to find openings early and catch fire. Then Utah resorted to trapping him when he refused to miss a shot, but he was able to make pristine passes to open shooters.

The Jazz simply had no answer.

“It was as big as the fish I posted (on his Instagram),” George said when asked how big the basket seemed all evening.

Despite this, the Thunder could not pull away and bury Utah. The paint was walled off thanks to the defensive exploits of Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert. Oklahoma City finished with 32 points in the paint but didn’t crack 20 until late in the third quarter.

“I hope he doesn’t go 8-for-11 from three next game,” Donovan Mitchell said. The exciting rookie finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds.

An early 16-4 start for the Jazz brought on feelings of anxiety throughout the packed Chesapeake Energy Arena. Easy Jazz buckets and George and Carmelo Anthony’s combined 0-for-4 start was all too a familiar scene.

Then the Thunder got rolling. A 12-0 run after the initial timeout in the game sparked the team and the crowd. From then it was the “Playoff P” show. Westbrook had the offense rolling and the Thunder handled their 5th-seeded opponent rather well.

The middle of the game was an onslaught of Thunder jumpers falling and pesky defense being played by guys like Anthony and Corey Brewer.

The end of the game also brought back memories of late-collapses. A comfortable Thunder lead dwindled into single digits with under a minute to go in the game. Alec Burks exploded off the bench for 10 points in two quick minutes.

“Obviously we need to do a better job collectively closing as a group,” Billy Donovan said. “Game 2 will be tougher.”

With that, Oklahoma City takes a 1-0 advantage in the series. Westbrook wasn’t overly impressed with the win, taking the route of “we did what we were supposed to do.”

“We didn’t do anything special,” Westbrook said at the podium. “We won one game at home. Game 2 is Wednesday.”

Oklahoma City host the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. The game can be seen on NBATV or on Fox Sports Oklahoma. Our own Brady Trantham will be in arena for that one.

Three Keys to the Game

Paint scoring: C

The Thunder were forced away from the paint all evening. Westbrook didn’t get going downhill towards the basket, rather opting for his back-to-the-basket turn-around jumpers — which were falling. Finishing with 32 points in the paint is nothing to sneeze at, this is what Utah does.

Rebounding: A

Anytime you can out-rebound the Utah Jazz you’re doing soemthing right. Adams had his hands full with Gobert but was able to hold his own. Westbrook finished with 13 boards while the trio of Adams, Anthony and George each registered seven.

Share the ball: B

The Thunder mainly relied on George hitting tough shots. When the ball was moving, the passes were crisp. Anthony in particular was swinging the ball around getting OKC better looks. Westbrook finished with eight dimes.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Thunder beat down Grizzlies as Westbrook makes history

Many saw the final game of the 2017-18 regular season for the Oklahoma City Thunder as a foregone conclusion.

They had already proven to be mentally tough by winning on the road in Houston and Miami and earning a spot in the playoffs. A matchup with the lowly Memphis Grizzlies had little to do with this game’s pregame hype.

That of course rested with the will-he/wont-he Russell Westbrook grab those 16 rebounds to clinch averaging a triple-double for the second consecutive season. A feat no other player has ever accomplished.

“It’s amazing,” Billy Donovan said afterwards. “Last year everyone tracked it and this year no one did. It just speaks to how great of a player he is.”

The reigning MVP did not disappoint as the Oklahoma City Thunder used his ability to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 137-123 on Wednesday night.

“It’s an unbelievable blessing,” Westbrook said in the locker room. “To have teammates that support me, and I support them. To succeed at a high level like this. It’s special.”

Westbrook finished with a career-high 20 rebounds, 19 assists and a meager six points. There was some fair share of conceding by Westbrook’s teammates to allow their point guard to gobble up a rebound or two. But this was a game where Westbrook’s rebounds led to explosive outlet-to-fastbreak points for Oklahoma City.

“He (Westbrook) really surveys the floor well,” Donovan said. “When our team is shooting the ball like that, he tries to read the game to the best of his ability and it resulted in some easy points.”

With the Thunder up 27 at halftime and Westbrook only five rebounds away from the 16th board, everything seemed to be going according to plan. A few minutes into the third quarter Westbrook grabbed rebound number 16 to a loud Chesapeake Energy Arena crowd, and then it seemed Oklahoma City stopped playing focused.

“We didn’t do a great job,” Donovan said. “But we took care of business when we had to.”

Memphis went on to outscore the Thunder 39-28 in the third quarter. The deficit was cut to nine. We have all seen this movie before.

But it ended up being Oklahoma City’s night. A Terrance Ferguson three followed by two Raymond Felton buckets kept the Grizzlies from mounting a serious comeback and the Thunder were able to leave with a victory.

Lost in all this was the fact that Paul George decided not to miss a shot for most of this game. The recently struggling George dropped 40 points on 13-of-20 shooting (8-of-14 from 3) and looked like the player prior to the All-Star break.

The Thunder now know their foe in the playoffs — the Utah Jazz. Currently, the Jazz are playing Portland on the road. Depending on that game will determine whether the first playoff game will be in Oklahoma City or not.

Three Keys to the Game

Bench: A

40 points is great any night. Ferguson was great from three, dropping 12 points. Jerami Grant did his usual solid stuff. Felton was a welcome addition.

Efficiency is key: A

Oklahoma City shot over 55 percent for the game. They scored a season high 77 points at half. All this without their leading scorer attempting to score much.

Rebound: A

For obvious reasons. 

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Thunder roars in the 4th, beat the Heat 105-99

It was tough for the Oklahoma City Thunder offense the entire evening.

Two days after the collapse in against the Celtics, the Thunder appeared to be in a bit of a Boston hangover. Both the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City obliged to shoot in the mid-thirties percentage from the floor. Needless to say, the game was a hard watch.

That is save for animal-lover, Steven Adams.

The seven-footer was sensational in about every facet of basketball. Finishing with a double-double, 24 points and 13 rebounds, Adams kept the sluggish Thunder offense above water throughout.

“Steven had a size-advantage all night,” head coach Billy Donovan said in the post game. “I felt that the matchups called for him to have a big game. Russell (Westbrook) didn’t take too many shots in the first half and it allowed Steven to have a lot of opportunities.”

It was the second game in the last three that Adams had a big night offensively — the most recent in the win against the Toronto Raptors where he scored 25 points.

“Steve-o is underrated,” Paul George said in the post game. “When we need an easy bucket or a maybe a breath on offense, Steven is always there for us.”

If not for the Thunder’s plot twist of hitting their free throws in the first half, Oklahoma City may have been in danger of being behind for the entire half. The Thunder shot 12-13 from the charity stripe despite shooting 34.4 percent.

The Heat were able to find some productivity on offense late in the third quarter. Behind James Johnson’s 23 points and Goran Dragic’s 20 points, Miami gained a slight lead heading into the fourth.

“I knew it was going to be a hard game for us,” Donovan said. “Erik (Spoelstra) does a fantastic job and our guys had a few days off after a disappointment in Boston.”

All this was due in large part to George and Carmelo Anthony shooting a combined 5-of-24 and finishing with 18 points.

Then Raymond Felton did that thing where he owns the beginning of the fourth quarter inside the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

With the Thunder down 66-64 to begin the fourth, Felton opened up with a three. He then followed that shot off with five points, capped off by a drive and layup and-one against Dwyane Wade. It was an 8-0 Thunder run and it fueled the Oklahoma City offense until the final buzzer.

Westbrook took it from there.

“I just took what the defense gave me,” Westbrook said in the locker room. “It’s as simple as that.”

The reigning MVP scored 17 points to close out the Heat and pick up a much needed win. He finished with 29 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.

Oklahoma City crushed the Heat in the fourth, outscoring the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference 41-33.

In addition the the scoring exploits of Felton, the Thunder bench had a much-welcomed solid game. The reserves combined for 30 points and were a combined +29 in the +/-.

The Thunder now move to 44-30, currently tied with the New Orleans Pelicans for the fourth seed.

Oklahoma City will host the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday evening. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. in a crucial Northwest Divisional showdown.

Keys to the Game

Transition: A+

The Thunder pushed transition and scored 18 points on the break. It’s the recipe for a Thunder victory. Oklahoma City needed to find their way to basket on the break and it worked well tonight.

Bench Production: A+

The bench scored 30 points tonight and more importantly they were a combined plus-36 tonight against the Heat bench. Oklahoma City’s bench has been lackluster all season but really shined tonight. Raymond Felton scored 10 points to lead the Thunder bench.

Rebound: A+

Oklahoma City’s rebounding skills were stellar tonight. Steven Adams and Russell Westbrook combined for 25 of Oklahoma City’s 51 rebounds. The Thunder improve to 31-10 when they out rebound their opponent on the season. The Thunder out rebounded the Heat 51-41 tonight.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

POLL: Worried OKC will miss the playoffs?

Oklahoma City, despite their winning ways, weren’t winning pretty. Some of that came to the top when they dropped games to good teams like the Blazers and the Rockets. Oklahoma City has put themselves in a precarious position we’ve seen before.

Currently, the Thunder are only 1½ games out of the ninth spot and they’re now 2½ games out of the third seed. While the margins are tight on both sides, the Thunder are closer to missing the playoffs due to the schedule remaining and their play as of late, than they are of grabbing that third or even fourth seed.

Oklahoma City has time to make up some ground. Games against the Suns, Kings and Hawks in their next four games have a chance to cushion some of the blow of good teams that’s on the horizons. From March 16-April 9, the Thunder don’t play a team with a losing record. In those 11 games, six of them are away from Chesapeake Energy Arena, where the Thunder are a sub-.500 team.

They end the season with a gimme win against the Grizzlies on April 11.

Oklahoma City is 17-19 against teams that are .500 or better. Before the Andre Roberson injury, Oklahoma City was 15-12 against the same quality of teams.

The Thunder are going to need to find ways of staying afloat if they’re wanting to keep in the playoff race. The real goal is to avoid the No. 7 or 8 seeds. Oklahoma City would have a better chance of advancing out of the first round.

Without being overly negative, remember this same Thunder team, without Roberson, beat the pants off the Warriors in Oakland. They played with the hottest teams in the NBA for most of the games. Oklahoma City is really right there.

All of that said, are you legitimately worried about Oklahoma City missing the playoffs for only the third time in franchise history?

Are you worried about OKC missing the playoffs?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

OKC Blue make the playoff push

After a four-game losing streak, the Oklahoma City Blue’s season sat on the brink. Make a move or stay home.

Since the return of RaShawn Thomas from the USA National Team, the Oklahoma City Blue have rolled off three straight and are pushing their way back into the Western Conference playoff race.

The Blue (23-20) sit only a half-game back of first place Sioux Falls SkyForce (23-19) in the Midwest Division.

To make the playoffs in the Western Conference in the G League, you either win your division or get in as a wildcard spot. The basic format is the same as the NBA’s. Except the G League only allows six teams into their postseason, not eight like the Association.

If you qualify for the first two seeds in the conference, you get a first round bye. The No. 3 will host the No. 6 seed. Then, the No. 4 will host the No. 5 seed in a single game elimination round.

Then, the real playoffs start. They’ll play a best of three series (one-one-one) for the rest of the playoffs, including the G League Finals.

Last season, the Oklahoma City Blue lost to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the Western Conference Finals. So, they’re hoping to get back this season.

Current Standings

 

 

 

Rank

West

W L PCT GB
1
Austin Spurs
27 16 0.628 0
2 South Bay Lakers 26 17 0.605 1.0
3
Sioux Falls SkyForce
23 19 0.548 3.5
4
Reno Bighorns
24 17 0.585 2.0
5
RGV Vipers
24 18 0.571 2.5
6
Texas Legends
24 18 0.571 2.5
7
Oklahoma City Blue
23 20 0.535 4
8 Santa Cruz Warriors

21 21 0.500 5.5

With seven games remaining in the regular season, the OKC Blue has some real work to do.

March 7: vs. Lakeland Magic (21-20)

Oklahoma City hasn’t played the Magic this season. Oklahoma City should be the favorite as this game is played at Chesapeake Energy Arena at 11 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7. Lakeland is only 4-6 in their last 10 games and have lost three of their last four.

March 9: vs. Texas Legends (24-18)

The Blue are 1-2 against the Legends this season with all three games decided by a combined four points. Oklahoma City won the first meeting in Oklahoma City but lost the two in Frisco. With Texas being the immediate team in front of Oklahoma City, this game is a must win.

March 10: vs. Iowa Wolves (18-22)

Iowa has lost eight straight since beating Oklahoma City by a billion points. Iowa has checked out and while they once led the division, this game should be an easy win for the Blue.

March 17: at Reno Bighorns (24-17)

Oklahoma City travels to Reno, Nevada to play the Bighorns, who are going to shoot the three like crazy. For the Blue, they’re lucky. Reno is only 12-8 at home this season. Oklahoma City though, is 0-2 against the Bighorns this season. Could be 0-3 at this pace.

March 20: at Agua Caliente Clippers (19-24)

The Blue should get a road win at the Clippers. An expansion team who’s played like it for much of the season. However, that’s not the case. Agua Caliente is 2-0 against the Blue this season. It’s hard to take three from an opponent, especially when you’re not a Reno or a Westchester, so the Blue should take care of business.

March 22: vs. Austin Spurs (27-16)

When you get a chance to knock off the best team in the conference and a chance at making the playoffs, this should be a prime chane for the Blue. It’s the third team in a row in which the Blue are 0-2 against this season. Luckily, this game will be at home.

March 24: at RGV Vipers (24-18)

yeah, it feels as if the Blue have a super tough schedule down the stretch. Oklahoma City is 1-1 against Rio Grande Valley this season. The team that ended Oklahoma City’s season last year might have a chance to do it again.

Sure, Oklahoma City is going to need some help. However, if you can win some games you’re not supposed to and then can find a way to win the games you’re supposed to, the Blue are in a position to make the playoffs. It’s all about whether they want to or not.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Thunder Game Day No. 50: vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Oklahoma City Thunder (29-20, 18-7 Home)

vs.

Philadelphia 76ers (24-21, 12-11 away)

Sunday, Jan. 28 :: 5:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
TV Coverage: ESPN (DirectTV 206, Cox 29, HD 1300, Tulsa Cox HD 1025)
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 enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 4-point favorite. The over/under is 214.
Online Stream: FS OK | Watch ESPNWWLS Sports AnimalLive Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Sixers: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • It’s a somber entry into today’s 50th game. Oklahoma City is without the the NBA’s best perimeter defender. While it happening before the trade deadline is helpful, the Thunder miss him immensely.
  • Oklahoma City hosts the Philadelphia 76ers in a Sunday matinee at the Peake today.
  • Oklahoma City has won 17 consecutive games against Philly, including all previous eight at home.
  • Earlier this season, the Thunder escaped Philadelphia with a triple overtime thriller 119-117.
  • Both teams are hot right now. The Thunder are the league’s hottest with winners in seven of their last eight and Philadelphia has won five of their last six.

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).
  • Tonight’s game is also available on ESPN for those not in the Oklahoma City market. Mark Jones, Doris Burke & Cassidy Hubbarth will be on your call. A really good group to call a game.

SCOUTING THE SIXERS

  • The Philadelphia 76ers are 24-21 on the season, seventh in the Eastern Conference.
  • In their last 10 games, the Sixers are 8-2.
  • In the previous game, Philadelphia beat San Antonio Spurs 97-78 IN San Antonio on Friday night.
  • All-time, the Oklahoma City Thunder are 68-64 against the Sixers.
  • When you account for relocation only, the Thunder are 17-1 vs. Philly.
  • When they’re played at Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City is a cool 8-0 vs. the Sixers.
  • Russell Westbrook has six triple-doubles against Philadelphia, most against any team.
  • In their previous game, the Thunder beat the 76ers on Dec. 15 in triple overtime 119-117.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Furkan Korkmaz (foot) is out.
    JJ Redick (leg) is a game-time decision.
    Jerryd Bayless (wrist) is a game-time decision.
    Markelle Fultz (shoulder) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Philadelphia came on March 4, 2014, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 125-92 (33-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (25 points) vs. the Sixers occurred during a 110-85 loss on Nov. 15, 2008.

INJURY REPORT

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

NEXT UP

  • Oklahoma City will then travel to Washington D.C. and Denver to wrap up the month.

WHAT’S IN A SIXERS NAME

  • The Syracuse Nationals were relocated to the City of Brotherly Love in 1963.
  • The team was renamed the 76ers, an allusion to the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia in 1776.



Three Keys to the Game

Limit Threes

Over their last six games, the Philadelphia 76ers are shooting the three at over 40 percent per game, which is fourth best over that span. Their ability to space the floor and get shooters open is clutch. For the Thunder being without Andre Roberson, this is more imperative to stop now more than ever. Someone needs to step up in his place. While you can’t completely replace his value, you can do a bit of damage.

Bench

Oklahoma City’s bench ranks 28th in the NBA in points contributed per game. They’re averaging 24.6 points per game. With Raymond Felton playing well lately, the Thunder have benefited. Felton and Co. have been a large part of the winning streak. Their ability to evaporate deficits or extend leads has been wonderful. Now that Roberson is out, the Thunder need someone on the bench to step up who hasn’t been playing and produce.

Free throw shooting

While we know the struggles that bind the Thunder’s season right now.  Free throw shooting has to be up there. In the previous game with Philadelphia, the Thunder missed five of six free throws in a span of 30 seconds of regulation that could’ve ended the game. Oklahoma City shot 10-of-19 from the line and was not acceptable that night and should not be acceptable tonight.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Thunder Game Day No. 49: at Detroit Pistons

Oklahoma City Thunder (28-20, 10-13 away) vs. Detroit Pistons (22-24, 13-9 home)

Saturday, Jan. 27 :: 4:00 p.m. CST :: Little Caesars Arena (20,491)
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 enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 3½-point favorite. The over/under is 206½.
Online Stream: FS OK | WWLS Sports AnimalLive Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Pistons: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • With a six-game winning streak, the Thunder head to the Motor City to take on the Pistons who are on the opposite end of the spectrum with a six-game losing streak.
  • All that is cause for concern as the Thunder have not won in Detroit since Dec. 7, 2014.
  • The Pistons are without Reggie Jackson and Jon Leuer and could be without Reggie Bullock tonight.
  • In their last 10 games, Detroit is 2-8 and it doesn’t seem like it could turn around any time soon.

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 PISTONS

  • The Detroit Pistons are 22-24 on the season, ninth in the Eastern Conference.
  • In their last 10 games, the Pistons are 2-8.
  • Currently, Detroit is riding a league worst, six-game losing streak. They haven’t won a game since a Jan. 10 win over Brooklyn.
  • In their previous game, the Pistons lost to the Utah Jazz 98-95 in overtime on Wednesday, Jan. 24.
  • All-time against the Pistons, the Thunder are 68-66.
  • Since relocation, Oklahoma City has a more commanding 13-5 advantage over Detroit.
  • When playing in the Motor City, the Thunder are 5-3 all-time.
  • Oklahoma City has not beaten Detroit away from Chesapeake Energy Arena since Dec. 7, 2014, a two-game span.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Reggie Jackson (ankle) is out.
    Jon Leuer (ankle) is out.
    Reggie Bullock (thumb) is a game-time decision.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Detroit came on Jan. 23, 2012, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 99-79 (20-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (16 points) vs. the Pistons occurred during a 104-88 loss on Nov. 14, 2016.

INJURY REPORT

  • Oklahoma City is relatively healthy.

NEXT UP

  • Oklahoma City will host the Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow for a short home game, then go on the road for two more games to round out the month.

WHAT’S IN A PISTONS NAME

  • The Pistons trace their roots to Fort Wayne, Indiana, where they were known as the Zollner Pistons. (Pretty sick logo).
  • What’s a Zollner Piston? A piston manufactured by then-team owner Fred Zollner, who named the club after his personal business.
  • When the team moved to Detroit in 1957, Zollner dropped his name from the nickname but retained Pistons. The name was fitting for the Motor City.



Three Keys to the Game

Transition scoring

Detroit plays at an excruciating slow pace. While they’re already in the bottom third of the league in pace, it’s the last 10 games where they’ve really been stagnant. Less than 98 possessions a game while the Thunder have increased that to 101 per game. If Oklahoma City can grind out a few more possessions tonight, could be huge.

Bench

Oklahoma City’s bench ranks 28th in the NBA in points contributed per game. They’re averaging 24.6 points per game. With Raymond Felton playing well lately, the Thunder have benefited. Felton and Co. have been a large part of the winning streak. Their ability to evaporate deficits or extend leads has been wonderful.

Big Three

These are those “dot dot dot” teams Carmelo Anthony has been talking about. While they struggled with the Nets, it’s the Big Three who need to step up and take this game over. There isn’t a lot of fire power for the Pistons. If these three can get in sync, this game may be over quick.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Thunder Game Day No. 48: vs. Washington Wizards

Oklahoma City Thunder (27-20, (17-7 home) vs. Washington Wizards (26-21, 11-12 away)

Thursday, Jan. 25 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
Coverage: TNT (245 DirecTV, 31 Cox, 730 HD 108 AT&T U-Verse, 138 Dish)
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 5-point favorite. The over/under is 214½.
Online Stream: TNT Online | WWLS Sports AnimalLive Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Wizards: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • So, the Thunder have done this thing where they’ve won five in a row. While it hasn’t been super impressive (like the one-point win over the Nets), they’re still wins.
  • Oklahoma City has won five in a row, the longest win streak in the Association and by that fact, will have a bulls-eye on their back every evening, including tonight against the Washington Wizards.
  • It helps Oklahoma City is 8-0 all-time at home vs. Washington. Dating back to the Sonic’s days, the last time Washington beat this franchise away from the nation’s capital? March 26, 2008. Almost 10 years ago.
  • The Wizards come into tonight’s game riding the struggle bus. They’re fresh off a 98-75 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.
  • For Washington, everyone should be healthy except for Sheldon Mac. Who, none of us have ever heard of before.

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.
  • Tonight’s game is only available on TNT, Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Kevin McHale and Kristen Ledlow will have your call tonight.

SCOUTING THE WIZARDS

  • The Washington Wizards are 26-21 this season, fifth in the Western Conference.
  • In their last 10 games, Washington is 5-5.
  • The Wizards lost to the Dallas Mavericks 98-75 on Tuesday night.
  • Oklahoma City is 71-60 all-time against Washington, including the Seattle days.
  • Since relocation, the Thunder are 12-5 against the Wizards.
  • Oklahoma City is 8-0 all-time against Washington at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
  • Dating back to the Seattle years, the Thunder haven’t lost to the Wizards since March 26, 2008. Almost 10 seasons ago.
  • Last season, the Thunder and the Wizards split, both winning on their home courts.
  • Washington’s longest road trip will take over the next two weeks – an 11-day, five-game road trip from Jan. 17-27 (CHA, DET, DAL, OKC and ATL).
  • Washington secured back-to-back 49+ win seasons for the first time since the 1968-69 (57) and 1969-70 (50) seasons.
  • INJURY REPORT:
    Sheldon Mac (Achilles) 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. Washington occurred during an 120-98 loss on Feb. 13, 2017.

INJURY REPORT

  • Oklahoma City is relatively healthy.

WHAT’S IN A WIZARD’S NAME

  • In the early 1990s, Washington Bullets owner Abe Pollin was becoming frustrated with the association of his team’s nickname and gun violence.
  • A name-the-team contest was held and fans voted on a list of finalists that included Wizards, Dragons, Express, Stallions, and Sea Dogs.
  • Not long after Wizards was announced as the winning name before the 1997-98 season, the local NAACP chapter president complained that the nickname carried Ku Klux Klan associations.
  • Previous nicknames for the franchise when they were still in Chicago include Packers and Zephyrs.

NEXT UP

  • Then, three of the next four are on the road at Detroit, Washington and Denver.



Three Keys to the Game

Third quarter

Win the third quarter. When the Thunder win the third quarter, they’re 16-1. When they lose, they’re 11-19 on the year. So, win the third quarter and you win the game. It’s pretty simple as that. Especially as the quarter has been the thorn in the side of Oklahoma City all season long.

Defend the three

The Wizards make 39 percent of their threes in wins. Oklahoma City has shown they can overcome a big three-point shooting night but unlike the Nets, the Wizards aren’t going to take 38 threes. They haven’t taken more than 36 this season and average only 26 per game.

Rebound

The Oklahoma City Thunder have rebounded well lately but they’ll have to do it again tonight. Oklahoma City is 21-6 when they can grab more boards than their opponent. The Wizards are 18-4 when they out rebound their opponent. Who ever wins the rebounding battle, probably winns the game.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

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.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!