Tag - OKC

POLL: Do you think OKC wins Game 5?

Short and simple: Do you think Oklahoma City wins and sends it back to Salt Lake City for a Game 6?

Do you think OKC wins Game 5?

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Thunder Playoff Game Day No. 4: at Utah Jazz

Utah leads series 2-1

Monday, April 23 :: 9:30 p.m. CST ::Vivint Smart Home Arena (19,911)
TV Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
TV Coverage: TNT (245 DirecTV, 31 Cox, 730 HD 108 AT&T U-Verse, 138 Dish)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 4-point underdog. The over/under is 209½.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Jazz: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • Oklahoma City faces pretty much their entire season tonight. Oklahoma City is 0-4 all-time in Game 5s, so the Thunder need this game more than anything.
  • Utah used a 13-0 run to ice Game 2 on Saturday night. Oklahoma City once again struggled in the fourth quarter.
  • Oklahoma City is 6-4 in Game 4s when down 2-1 in a series.
  • Russell Westbrook fell one rebound shy of a triple-double, finishing with 14 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists and two steals, despite having one of his worst games in the playoffs in a long time.
  • Raymond Felton led the OKC reserves, who outscored the Jazz bench 34-17, with 14 points, shooting 4-of-5 from long range and 5-of-10 from the field.

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 on TNT for the national broadcast. It’s unknown who the broadcast team will be.

THUNDER INJURY REPORT

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

JAZZ INJURY REPORT

  • Thabo Sefolosha (knee) is out.



Three Keys to the Game

Pace

Utah struggled keeping up with the pace in Game 1. The Jazz (25th in pace in the regular season) have done a better job of slowing the pace down. It was 100.2 in Game 1, 97.3 in Game 2, and 96.4 in Game 3. If it’s around 99-100-plus, that’s where Oklahoma City excels. When the Jazz keep it below 98, Utah thrives. It’s that simple.

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 Playoff Game Day: at Utah Jazz – Game 3

Series tied 1-1

Saturday, April 21 :: 9:00 p.m. CST ::Vivint Smart Home Arena (19,911)
TV Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
TV Coverage: ESPN (DirectTV 206, Cox 29, HD 1300, Tulsa Cox HD 1025)
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 4½-point underdog. The over/under is 207.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Jazz: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder look to get back on top of a tight series with a win in Utah tonight. If the Thunder fall tonight, the series gets tough. If they win, they take a commanding 2-1 lead with a game back in Oklahoma City potentially close out the series.
  • Utah beat the Thunder 102-95 on Wednesday night in a game that saw Oklahoma City go on a 19-0 and then Utah respond with an 18-3 run of their own. Oklahoma City’s Big Three went 0-of-14 in the fourth quarter, a first this season.
  • The Thunder scored its 10,000th playoff point, one of just three teams to do so since the 2010 postseason (San Antonio, Miami).
  • Russell Westbrook fell one rebound shy of a triple-double with a team-leading 19 points, game-best 13 assists and nine rebounds along with a game-high four steals.
  • Paul George notched his third playoff double-double with 18 points and a team-leading 10 rebounds while blocking three shots.
  • Jerami Grant set new postseason career highs in both scoring and rebounding with a bench-leading 13 points and six rebounds while going 6-for-10 from the field.

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 on ESPN for the national broadcast. It’s unknown who the broadcast team will be.

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.

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

Pace

Utah struggled keeping up with the pace in Game 1. For some reason, the Jazz (25th in pace in the regular season) thought they could keep up with Oklahoma City in transition. It didn’t work. Oklahoma City really forced Utah into some compromising positions as a result. Oklahoma City has to talk them into doing it again. Push the pace. Get Utah uncomfortable.

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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Five Thoughts 4-18-18 (Game 2 Jazz 102, Thunder 95)

Five Thoughts 4-18-18 (Game 2 Jazz 102, Thunder 95)

1. First of all, nothing I saw tonight really changes the way I feel about the series. I feel no panic and I feel no relaxation. I predicted the series to go 6, but I was 50/50 on whether or not to predict it to go 7. I figured this would be a very tight series and I didn’t expect the rollercoaster Thunder season to suddenly even out— especially against a team as sound as Utah. Tonight was frustrating of course as all losses in the playoffs are; but I don’t feel particularly bad or pessimistic about the remainder of the games. Through two games this series appears to be what myself (and many others) figured it would be: fairly evenly-matched with a real lack of easy baskets for either team. I also am not overly caught up in the home court for this series. I don’t see either team sweeping all of their home games. I thought this thing was going at least six and nothing I’ve seen through two games leads me to change my thinking.

2. Sports fans always view the games through the lens of their team. As someone who has spent an embarrassing amount of time on message boards over the years I feel as if I’ve become pretty well versed in how fans act and react. Rarely, if ever, do fans account for the OTHER team. Every loss usually gets pinned on their own failings or the failings of the coach, etc. There is very, very little of tipping the cap to the other side. It kind of drives me crazy. Sometimes, your team blows it. Sometimes, your team stinks. And sometimes you just lose. Sometimes the other guys are pretty good. I thought Donovan Mitchell had a virtuoso stretch tonight and I give him all the credit in the world for saving his team. If Utah falls 2-0 in the series I wouldn’t have liked their chances at all. When we went on our 19-0 run to take the 10 point lead, the Jazz season may have very well been on the line right then and there. Mitchell had struggled all night with Brewer harassing him; but suddenly when his team desperately needed a lifeline, he came to the rescue. He scored 7 points in the final 53 seconds of the third quarter and helped cut the Thunder lead from 10 down to 5. It was a massive moment in the game. It had a scoreboard impact of course, but it also seemed to resuscitate his team. His final numbers weren’t overly impressive, but his timing was impeccable. That kid is a real player. A budding star if you ask me. And he did it against hounding defense from all angles. Hats off to him. He was the best player on the floor tonight in the clutch. He outperformed all of our guys. Looks like the Jazz have a very special player on their hands.

3. On the flip side, don’t need to say much about tonight other than 0-14. That was the combined 4th quarter shooting from Russ, PG, and Melo. Good luck with that. Oddly enough I actually thought we moved the ball and took better shots in the fourth quarter as opposed to earlier in the game. But wow, nothing fell. Utah is the best defensive team in the league; we aren’t going to get very many “easy” looks against them. They are going to force us a little out of our comfort zone. We need to make some shots. In game one, we made them all. In game two, we didn’t make any. If we meet in the middle the rest of the series we should be alright.

4. I am fine with our rotations and strategy thus far in the series. Our defense has been really good. We allowed some easy stuff in the paint game one, but we cleaned that up tonight. Our perimeter defense has been fantastic. Utah is working for everything. Effort has been excellent and they’ve also been pretty smart. Not many breakdowns and we’ve forced turnovers and bad possessions. Rubio and Favors taking three’s is what we want— they hit them tonight, but that is not what Utah WANTS to do offensively. Offensively, we’ve struggled some. It’s due mainly to Utah being so good on D. I think Russ has been pretty patient though; tonight more so than game one. The one criticism I have is that Melo is being extended too long. I don’t like seeing him play the entire first and third quarters. He’s played pretty well thus far; he’s battled with their bigger guys and he’s given them some issues when we have the ball. He’s having a solid series. I just think he needs a slight minutes reduction— those minutes can go to Patterson and/or Grant. Jerami is often already in during those times so Patterson would be the main beneficiary. Not that I’m head over heels for what Patterson is currently offering, but a few more minutes might help get him going and may also result in a fresher version of Melo at the end of the game. Otherwise, in terms of strategic analysis, I think we’ve done fine through two games.

5. I let out a little sigh walking out of the arena tonight; not because I felt dejected, but because we were pretty close to taking this to 2-0 and while 2-0 guarantees nothing, it would have allowed ME to feel more relaxed these next few days in advance of games 3 and 4. Now, the playoff tension has officially set in. It’s a familiar feeling— and I’m grateful for that. It’s almost like that pain you feel when working out. You don’t like it in the moment, but you know it’s all for the best. Without that feeling, the fun of being a fan is sort of wiped out. So, I’ll take it. One of these teams is going to win three more games in this series. It is such a grind. Every possession seems so difficult for both teams. The Jazz fans will be rocking on Saturday night just like we were in OKC. It will likely light a fire early for their team. But then it will settle down and we will have these two teams waging a now familiar battle. I expect to see more of what we’ve seen already and I expect at least one of the next two games to be decided in the final minutes. I kind of wish we didn’t have to wait until (late) Saturday for Game 3 and I also kind of wish it was three weeks away. These games are tense, exhausting. I don’t foresee that tendon lifting until the series officially ends. Buckle up.

Ed Kleese is a long-time Thunder season ticket holder and a smart Thunder fan. You can read all his work on his own personal blog.
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Thunder Playoff Game Day No. 2: vs. Utah Jazz

Oklahoma City leads series 1-0

Wednesday, April 18 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
TV Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
TV Coverage: NBATV
Radio Coverage: 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemyHere.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 4-point favorite. The over/under is 207½.
Online StreamFS OK | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Jazz: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder took Game 1 by a commanding second half performance in which saw the Thunder push their lead out to as many as 18.
  • The Jazz held a 16-4 lead midway through the first quarter until 12 unanswered points from the Thunder tied the game with three minutes remaining. The two teams ended the frame knotted at 25 apiece. After OKC gained a 29-28 advantage in the first two minutes of the second quarter, Utah never held another lead.
  • Oklahoma City is 6-3 when they lead a series 1-0. On the flip side, the Jazz are 6-18 since 1980-81 when they trail a series 1-0. In fact, Utah has dropped six of their last seen when trailing 1-0.
  • Tonight is Oklahoma City’s first ever playoff game on NBATV. This is usually reserved for the least entertaining match up, usually an Eastern Conference team. They’re on it just once.

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 on NBATV as well.

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.

JAZZ INJURY REPORT

  • Thabo Sefolosha (knee) is out.
  • Donovan Mitchell (foot) is a game-time decision.

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

Utah struggled keeping up with the pace in Game 1. For some reason, the Jazz (25th in pace in the regular season) thought they could keep up with Oklahoma City in transition. It didn’t work. Oklahoma City really forced Utah into some compromising positions as a result. Oklahoma City has to talk them into doing it again. Push the pace. Get Utah uncomfortable.

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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Utah Jazz Game 1 Meltdown 4.15.18

The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Jazz after falling behind. Paul George exploded for 36 points and barely played in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma City’s win really brought out the “blame the refs” fans. Jazz fans were pretty chill for the most part. Blamed the refs. There was one comment where someone wanted Royce O’Neale to take out Adams’ knee caps but maybe said in jest? Either way, enjoy the meltdown

  • I’m excited. Really anxious to see how we respond after the Portland game.
  • the refs will dictate this series
  • Please stop with this nonsense.
  • Just put on the lucky Jazz Hoodie. Time for the Jazz to have the whole league Take Note!
  • The poor man’s superteam. OKC
  • Westbrook BS calls counter is up to 1
  • We’re straight up embarrassing OKC.
  • Stomp these ****ers into oblivion.
  • Ahh Crymelo throwing up a brick, takes me back. Lol this is a poor excuse for a super team.
  • Last year we broke up the Clippers. Let’s do the same to OKC!!!
  • Joe ingles and Paul George are not going to be friends after this series.
  • This lineup is ****ing trash. Is Quin high?
  • At least kick his knee cap out, Royce.
  • Jazz are staying in it but the worrisome part is they are playing at OKC’s tempo
  • Get Adams in foul trouble. Go at him. Every ****ing possession.
  • Looking at Westbrick ‘s face makes me feel like I have diarrhea
  • Of course loser George starts hitting all his threes.
  • I’m gonna have a really unhealthy hate for PG by the end of this series.
  • Paul George needs to start missing again… I don’t like this Paul George.
  • These shots will stop falling for the thunder. Our defense will wear them down
  • I’m beginning to become worried that they’re just better than us.
  • Pg13 is defending the **** out of ingles and then getting the better of him on the other end too.
  • Lucky ****ing bounce
  • That crowder shot: no no no you stupid mother fu…… Yes!!!
  • If they ride Adams to get fouls on Rudy, I don’ know how we win.
  • vintage melo. my boy. trade him to jazz okc.
  • They’ve kept one of Anthony, Westbrook, or George on the floor the entire half. Staggering minutes.
  • Our bench got ****ing smashed.
  • Utah needs more points. They can win this game if they score more points.
  • PG has to cool off, right?
  • PG playing better than anyone in the playoffs so far. **** me.
  • **** Paul George
  • Lol okc fans. What a sad bunch haven’t they been watching basketball for almost 10 years now? No excuses.
  • Bull ****! Call it on Westbrook then, his was intentional.
  • I expected the superstar treatment from the zebras and I was right. We all were.
  • We don’t win if Rudy is off the floor. Just not likely.
  • Jesus Adams is a bull
  • Guess the honeymoon is over.
  • Quite a shot by pg13
  • Would be a tie game if not for PG just unconscious.
  • WTF was Adams doing. Let’s **** someone in the 4th.
  • Holy **** George.
  • When did PG become the greatest jump shooter of all time?
  • The thunder arena with the stupid cop sound ever single time there is a foul is aids.
  • How are we not down 30+
  • **** pg13
  • Thunder make everything or get the rebound.
  • Westbrook passes up a wide open 5 footer so he can go for the triple double, lol.
  • “They can’t shoot this well all series long…” Famous last words.
  • Wish we had been at home. George was eating that **** up.
  • Home court’s not important.
  • Royce didn’t stop PG one time this game, so stop pretending like he displayed any form of defense.
  • I’m not an Adams fan at all but he is tougher than Gobert and Favors.
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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.

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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. 

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Oklahoma City Thunder Playoff Seeding Scenarios

So, step one is done. Oklahoma City is in the playoffs. Now, where will they be? That’s the big question.

On Wednesday night, Oklahoma City will play the Memphis Grizzlies, there are TONS of options going forward. We’re going to do our best to breakdown every Thunder scenario.

You want a real big cliff notes: If Utah splits and Oklahoma City beats Memphis, Oklahoma City is the four. If OKC loses, they’re most likely eighth. If the Thunder win against Memphis they’ll finish no lower than sixth.

However, there are a billion other breakdowns, so let’s just jump into it.

If you know of any scenarios I missed, please tweet us with scenarios, we’ll add it.

8th Seed

If Oklahoma City loses to Memphis, this is where they’re going. This is what they deserve for losing to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Minnesota (1-3) and Denver (1-2) both own the tiebreakers over Oklahoma City. So, the winner of their will jump Oklahoma City. It’s assuming Utah split, losing to Portland:

4. Utah
5. New Orleans/San Antonio winner
6. Denver/Minnesota winner
7. New Orleans/San Antonio loser
8. Oklahoma City

 

Even if Utah drops both games, here’s what it would look like and New Orleans won

4. New Orleans
5. Minnesota/Denver winner
6. Utah
7. San Antonio
8. Oklahoma City

7th seed

It’s really tough for Oklahoma City to get the seventh seed. One way has to happen exactly like this:

  • OKC loses to Memphis
  • NOLA loses to San Antonio
  • Utah beats Portland
  • Minnesota beats Denver

In this instance, the Standings would be like this

  1. Houston
  2. Golden State
  3. Utah
  4. Portland
  5. San Antonio
  6. Minnesota
  7. Oklahoma City
  8. New Orleans

This happens because in the three-way tie, the combined record of Minnesota, OKC and NOLA Head-to-head comes out like this:

  • Minnesota: 4-0 vs. NOLA | 3-1 vs. OKC = 7-1
  • Oklahoma City 1-3 vs. MIN | 1-2 vs. NOLA = 2-5 (Western Conference 27-25)
  • New Orleans 0-4 vs. MIN | 2-1 vs. OKC = 2-5 (Western Conference 26-26)

Oklahoma City sneaks to the seventh spot by their win over the Houston Rockets, essentially.

Another option is if Utah loses both games and the Thunder lose and San Antonio wins

4. San Antonio
5. Minnesota/Denver winner
6. Utah
7. Oklahoma City
8. New Orleans

6th seed

There are a couple of different scenarios for Oklahoma City end up sixth, even with wins.

Utah loses both and Oklahoma City beats Memphis, it’ll look like this

4. New Orleans/San Antonio
5. Minnesota/Denver
6. Oklahoma City
7. Utah
8. New Orleans

If Utah splits but beats Portland and OKC wins:

3. Utah
4. Portland
5. San Antonio/New Orleans
6. Oklahoma City

5th seed

If the Thunder beat the Grizzlies and the Jazz go 0-2, they creates a bit of a logjam in the middle again, obviously.

Here’s the first scenario with a Minnesota win:

4. San Antonio/New Orleans winner
5. Oklahoma City
6. Minnesota
7. Utah
8. San Antonio/New Orleans loser

With a Denver win:

4. San Antonio/New Orleans winner
5. Oklahoma City
6. Utah
7. Denver
8. San Antonio/New Orleans loser

4th seed

This one is a little bit clear cut as the Thunder need to win against Memphis and have the Jazz split beat either the Warriors or the Blazers, while losing the other one. Completely possible as the Warriors may be resting to get their guys ready for the playoffs. Portland may have more to play for as they lost to Denver on Monday night.

If OKC wins, San Antonio/New Orleans winner, and Utah beats Golden State but loses to Portland

4. Oklahoma City (5-3 vs. UT/SA; 4-3 vs. UT/NO)
5. Utah (4-4 vs. OKC/SA; 4-4 vs. OKC/NO)
6. San Antonio (3-5 vs. OKC/UT)/ New Orleans (3-4 vs. OKC/UT)

3rd seed

Oklahoma City cannot claim the third seed as Portland owns the 4-0 head-to-head tie-breaker with the Thunder.

2nd seed

Golden State has locked this up as they’re 11 games up in the standings on the Thunder.

1st seed

Houston has this locked up as they own a 17½-game advantage on the Thunder.

 

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Heat Meltdown! 4.9.18

The Oklahoma City Thunder clinched the playoffs with an impressive victory over the Miami Heat. The Heat fans didn’t really comprehend what was going on. A lot of coach hating and a lot of officiating hating. They didn’t even talk about the Russ triple-double, besides calling him a stat stuff. The only thing he was stuffing on Monday night was them W’s! Enjoy the meltdown!

  • Is this a game the Heat even want to win? If they want to lose, am I really in? Not sure…
  • Watch us blow them out.
  • Think I loss my typewriter, haven’t touched over a year, now I’m annoyed
  • So, what happens to thunder if they get eliminated in first round? Iggie?
  • I’m tired of losing, can we win this game?
  • Holy chit what a start
  • wow Heat looking like a pretty decent playoff team right now, 03/04 Pistons 2.0
  • START OF THIS GAME IS LIKE
  • Melo sucks
  • 16-1 LMAO
  • Did OKC get trashed in SoBe last night?
  • So many FT bailouts this quarter. You lucky OKC
  • wtf melo plays defense??
  • i have an exam during wednesday’s game smh i’m in shambles
  • GTFO fatty felton
  • Felton always walks around like he needs a hip replacement
  • dont like playing this thunder team, weird team
  • okc 15-5 run since i’ve turned on the game smh I SORRy
  • Up 6 after that start is pitiful.
  • Man, this is just a parade to the line for OKC huh.
  • Uh oh, Russell getting warm
  • Why is PG so open all the time
  • man, PG so smooth
  • no resistance at the rim against brodie
  • These refs got me hot.
  • How many rebounds is Westbrook gonna get! THIS IS MADNESS
  • i thought PG was in a slump…?
  • Never in my life have I seen someone stat stuff the way that Westbrook does.
  • This ain’t my first rodeo; Wade is just saving his threes for the Elimination games.
  • we are making them take tough shots. i like our chances
  • letting okc bench score is no bueno. careful
  • Who do we gotta stomp on for some free throws?
  • Our bench killed us again.
  • chalm do something about felton
  • **** you Spo i burned a 2nd round pick in Fantasy on Whiteside and he never played in the 4th and now when fantasy season ended and i have a bet on OKC you play Whiteside… **** prick
  • The Oklahoma City FThunder.
  • Lmao we really falling to eighth huh
  • We never get home cooking
  • Talent
  • lol Spo is such a Joke
  • Well I for one am glad I ordered three Papa John’s pizzas at half price after the Atlanta win cause that’s looking like our last win of the season, playoffs included.
  • This team will get curb stomped in the first round.
  • I missed the newest episode of The Terror for this ****?
  • We suck muy grande
  • We just got outscored by 27 points in the fourth. Probably couldve done a little better.
  • WTFFF i had to leave after 4th quarter started… AND we got blown out in that time????
  • Umm just got out of a meeting…wtf happened!?
  • must be one of the worst games ever to start off 16-1 lead or something? i was cooking chicken and missed it
  • Westbrook with more rebs than Whiteside!!?
  • Hard to beat a team starting three guys who have 50 point per game capabilities. That doesn’t include Paul George either.
  • he got felton mad and then we felt his wrath
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