Tag - Warriors

There’s no fun in Thunder as Paul George returns to Indiana

Oklahoma City is off to their worst start since the 2014-15 season.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are two games below .500 and set in the ninth spot of the Western Conference, just outside the playoffs. It’s a far cry from where the basketball world thought they would be 26 games into to this season.

Paul George seems to be at a loss in explaining his team’s recent struggles, telling reporters “It’s getting to a point where we can’t allow ourselves to be at this point. We can say we’re going to figure it out, we can say all that, but at some point, it’s gotta stop.”

Gotta stop? How about it’s gotta start? The Thunder have bonafide superstars, stars that supposedly admire and like each other. In the banana boat age, that should be enough to make you more than competitive. However, this group seems to be lacking the critical element that Golden State figured out a long time ago.

Fun.

Kevin Durant expressed on his way out the door that the Warriors love fest was one of the main reasons he left OKC for the left coast.

The Thunder are hitting the road for the next three games starting tonight with Paul George’s homecoming in Indiana. George knows the crowd will treat him to the same reception that greeted KD when he returned to The Peak. What we don’t yet know is to what extent his teammates rally behind him. Carmelo Anthony was quick to point out that picking on George amounts to picking on the Thunder. If that is true, then we might see some life in this team who looks they are grinding towards the end of the season heading into the playoffs.  All of which would be fine, if it wasn’t December.

George says Oklahoma City is enjoying the battles and “everything that brought this team together.” But what really brought this team together? This wasn’t an organic process like Thunder teams before, or even three guys “clouding” the way the Heat did in 2010. It was trading guys like Victor Oladipo, who Billy Donovan touts for the hard work he was putting in during the offseason, and Enes Kanter, who not only produced on the offensive end but was maybe the most likable guy in the locker room.

There is nothing natural about this version of the Thunder, and it shows in the lackluster performances they’ve racked up this season. Despite the schedule not being kind to Oklahoma City,  this road trip can’t come a moment too soon. Maybe George returning to a bloodthirsty Pacer fan base, and Melo returning to Madison Square Garden might give the Thunder something to rally around. If that doesn’t do the trick, then maybe Sam Presti pushes the panic button along with his critics.

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Thunder storm back to win third straight

The Oklahoma City Thunder finally did something impressive, storming back from as many as 17 down to beat the Utah Jazz 100-94 on Tuesday evening.

Oklahoma City improves to 11-12 on the season and now have won three straight.

“Our guys were flying around, and our energy picked up,”Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said. “The second unit played so hard and with great effort.

It appeared to a bad Thunder game as the Oklahoma City fell behind by double digits early on. However, it was an impressive fourth quarter, powered by Steven Adams and Russell Westbrook. The MVP-Kiwi duo found themselves tag teaming the Thunder’s come back.

“His [Westbrook] never-die attitude was just keeping us alive,” Donovan said.

Westbrook finished with 14 assists and 13 rebounds. Steven Adams had 20 points and nine rebounds.

“People have it really backwards,” Donovan said. “That’s the greatness to me of Carmelo Anthony. The reason Steven’s doing what he’s doing is because of Carmelo Anthony and Paul George.”

The Jazz led 47-39 at halftime. However, Utah hit a three to start the half. They would eventually expand their lead to 72-55 with 4:13 left in the third. It appeared the Jazz had the game in hand but Westbrook would not let the Thunder quit. Westbrook scored 11 of the Thunder’s 13 points to end the quarter. An Adams’ tip-in was the only other points.

“I give those guys a lot of credit coming out in the second half and self correcting,” Donovan said.

While Westbrook did all the heroics, the Thunder still trailed by 12 after three frames. The reserves stepped up, cutting it to 82-76 with 7:30 left in the game.

Westbrook would force a steal off a really nice Adams hedge; he took the ball, racing off to the rim and giving the Thunder a 88-87 lead with 4:10 remaining.

Carmelo Anthony started the game going 2-of-13. Hit four of his last six shots, all in the fourth quarter. A nice pick-and-pop from Westbrook extended a Thunder lead. While he didn’t hit a three all game long, he never quit within the offense.

Oklahoma City’s largest lead grew to 99-92 with 26 seconds remaining after a pair of Westbrook free throws.

With a win streak on the line, the Oklahoma City Thunder are going to Mexico to play the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night. Oklahoma City and Brooklyn tips off at 8 p.m.

Keys to the Game

Rebound: A+

Oklahoma City dominated the boards and the Jazz. It’s once again showing how out the Thunder are dominate are when they can control the glass. Oklahoma City out rebounded the Jazz 47-36 and more importantly 27-16 in the second half.

Points off turnovers: C

Oklahoma City had 18 points off 18 Jazz turnovers. It really wasn’t earth shattering. The Thunder did struggle in the first half. In the second half, the Thunder have nine points off five Utah turnovers. So, there was some considerable improvement in the second half.

Get to the line: A+

Oklahoma City attempted 26 attempts on Tuesday night. It’s the most free throws in a victory since Oklahoma City beat the Warriors in what feels like forever ago. Oklahoma City went 18-of-26 from the line. Which leaves a lot to be considered in terms of making their shots. That’s for another time.

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Real Plus/Minus: OKC stops Warriors

The Oklahoma City Thunder put it all together nicely for four quarters, as they got a dominant 108-91 victory over the Golden State Warriors. It was a nice surprise, as the Thunder didn’t blow their big lead, and kept Golden State out of striking distance for the majority of the game.

PLUS

Jerami Grant

Jerami Grant was great early on the defensive side of the ball. Grant recorded two blocks on Kevin Durant that were at a crucial time that added to the crowd’s intensity. Grant has been fantastic this season off the bench that has been a tremendous asset for Coach Billy Donovan to unleash with either Paul George, Carmelo Anthony or Russell Westbrook in the second unit.

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook was at his very very best against the Golden State Warriors. Westbrook played 36:56 minutes shooting 13-of-27 for a season-high 34 points on 48.1 percent shooting with 10 rebounds and nine assists. It wasn’t just Westbrook’s offense that was a factor it was his defensive efforts especially early in the third quarter when Westbrook got back to back defensive stops leading to two buckets. Westbrook’s energy was immense for his team he set the tone early and continued it for 48 minutes and his team, and his fans thrived off it, and the Warriors were terrified.

Paul George

Last season Russell Westbrook had big games against the Warriors, and it mattered none as the warriors would go on and win by 20, this season Westbrook had help in Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, but it was George that was Westbrook’s biggest weapon. George played 39:45 minutes scoring 20 points on 8-of-19 on 42.1 percent with 11 rebounds, four steals, and two blocks. George has been tremendous from three-point range this year as he went 4-of-10 from three George has credited Westbrook for his uplift in three-point shooting but George is precisely what the Thunder ordered for Westbrook, and it is slowly coming together, and they are looking lethal.

Free throws

This season the Thunder have had issues on defense when they have had significant leads letting teams off the hook by fouling the shooters or by putting them into the bonus and putting the opposition on the free throw line. Against the Warriors, the Thunder only put the Warriors on the line 18 times that was a big win for the Thunder and their defense. The Thunder were able to get to the line themselves 26 times shooting 69.2 percent with Russell Westbrook getting to the line eight times making seven of them making 87.5 percent.

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Russell Westbrook shines in blow out

Kevin Durant pressed his forehead against Russell Westbrook’s. The two exchanged pleasantries and a game that was on the edge of falling back into the same format the NBA has seen for three years changed. Russell Westbrook smiled and the Thunder blew out the Golden State Warriors.

No, not blown out. The Oklahoma City Thunder dominated the Warriors.

“That’s my game,” Westbrook said. “I feel like that’s my gift. To be able to come out every single night to use my energy, my enthusiasm to be able to keep my team and our team going.”

The Warriors were as cold on the basketball court as the temperature in Oklahoma City. That’s a large part due to the Thunder’s suffocating defense. They switched with mechanical precision. So, when Golden State made a run in the third quarter, it was Westbrook he stepped up and said no.

Westbrook shook his head after knocking the ball out of Durant’s hands. Westbrook and Durant came together as if a cosmic shift of 16 months waiting to explode. Durant backing away after calling Westbrook a name reminded you of a kid who had to be told to hold him back as Westbrook’s scowl is that of one who actually had to be held back and him tell them he’s cool.

Durant’s next possession down the floor saw the former Thunder player dribble off his foot and out of bounds. Oklahoma City came down, Paul George would hit a shoulder shimmy three. Oklahoma City led by 23 just like that. They never looked back.

“I’m coming at your neck every single night,” Westbrook told ESPN during post-game interview. “and I’m gonna let him know that.”

It was at that moment the game was over. When Durant backed away from Westbrook’s confrontation, the game was over. Oklahoma City had the moxie to finish off the game.

“I think tonight shows who we can be, who we want to be and who we think we can be,” Carmelo Anthony said.

Anthony, who scored 16 in the first half was wide open on numerous of his makes in the first half, who you can credit Westbrook’s aggressiveness for helping on that. Westbrook starting being aggressive, going to the rim. Steph Curry started out trying to guard Westbrook but quickly switched onto Andre Roberson. With Westbrook going to the rim, the Thunder’s lead ballooned.

“I go out and compete at a high level,” Westbrook said. “I go out and play at a high level. I’ve been saying that since Day 1 and that’s what I do.”

Compete he sure did. The dust settled and Westbrook led all scores with 34 points on 15-of-27 shooting. He also dished out nine assists and pulling down four rebounds.

For the Thunder, it’s really only a single step to where they want to be. Beating the Warriors to take that step is no feat. However, it’s a great way to start.

“Hopefully this starts a run for us,” Raymond Felton said. “We cannot go backwards.”

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Warriors Meltdown 11.22.17

The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Golden State Warriors 108-91 for their first win over the Warriors in almost two years. Russell Westbrook was bananas. The Thunder were amazing and the Warriors meltdown is worth it. They’re not horrible but they’re funny and they definitely credit OKC while bagging on their own team. Enjoy the first Warriors meltdown forever. Here you go:

  • one day, these games against thunder won’t matter so much but for now, let’s shut them down!
  • roberson took 4 damn steps before that shovel pass
  • This is getting feisty! love it!
  • Our ball handling is really horrible
  • Whichever team stops turning it over will take the lead
  • Playing dumb so far
  • Uh-oh. 2 fouls on Durant
  • More home cooking
  • Seriously what has Looney done
  • taken up minutes from Bell and McGee today
  • Do we have to give up 30+ every 1st quarter?
  • Hi Warriors. Play defense
  • This is so painful to watch
  • this is comedy
  • it’s awesome we’re only down single digits
  • It seems like Steph has completely forgotten that OKC is long and that the passing windows are smaller
  • OKC are playing D and they are hustling for loose balls, active hands in passing lanes …. vs. us not doing anything like that!
  • Wish we could just fast forward to the 3rd quarter
  • So OKC kinda sucks. What’s going on here?
  • anthony traveled at least twice on that play
  • WAKE UP
  • refs making their presence felt once again
  • What’s the reason for trailing a significantly inferior opponent
  • Snap out of it !!!!
  • Remember: The Warriors are getting the Thunder’s best shot—the third quarter will tell the story.
  • Ahhh this home officiating
  • Westbrook is like the athletic pinnacle of human existence. Holy shit at that drive and dunk
  • it still amuses me that westbrook can be demonstrative and it’s called being passionate, but green does it and it’s disrespectful
  • Somebody wake me up when the Warriors have a call go their way.
  • Warriors are screwed
  • 95% chance they win this game
  • Warriors keeping it close.
  • gotta weather the storm
  • Kinda feel like they need to get blown out. Cuz they really not playing well at all recently
  • Any other team would be up 20 on the Warriors.
  • Like that?
  • Embarrassing
  • OKC is a bad rebounding team yet they already have 7 off rebounds tonight SMH
  • Andre is a -17, gross
  • Hoping for another 2nd half OKC collapse
  • I’ve been saying OKC is the only team that can beat the dubs in a series
  • OKC announcer: “dribbling unmolested.” Did I hear that right? Lol
  • Warriors are up against the league. That is not something that is easily overcome
  • klay ice cold
  • WTF, Durant?
  • LOL Pack it in. We done here
  • This is a blowout
  • wait how are we getting blown out
  • dubs dont get blown out
  • Warriors, what are you doing???
  • You knew that was going to happen, Dray.
  • f*** these refs
  • What happened to those 2 being cool lol
  • KD needs to calm his ass down , jfc
  • Dubs in their own heads now!
  • Why can’t we hit our shots? Is OKC’s defense THAT good?
  • I’m done. Not going to waste next 15 mins of my life watching us play like sh*t
  • Kerr looks like he checked out of this game about 8 hours ago.
  • Curry deserved that. No energy at all and Russ made him pay
  • Steph never wins a loose ball race, lol….so soft
  • We are playing like a JV team.
  • F***ing Draymond. Stop getting Ts. Kerr, just send him to the locker room
  • George just gave them the shimmy…oh nooo..
  • any reason to be concerned?
  • Westbrook is irrelevant. Let’s go home.
  • LOL Iguodala that wsa horrible
  • Jesus…I have no idea what Iggy just did
  • i hate those lazy one handed passes by steph, i think teams are anticipating those passes….if i were a high school coach, i wouldnt tolerate those lazy passes!
  • Westbrook just clowning us and we’re doing nothing.
  • westbrook gotta chill wins 1 of the last 8 and acts like he’s won the championship lol
  • Westbrook and Melo brought it tonight..
  • You know it’s not your game when Raymond Felton is hitting pullup 22-footers
  • I wish Klay would have shown up to the arena and that Steph would have had a Red Bull before the game
  • Nice game by the Thunder but I’m more unimpressed by the Warriors.
  • lol warriors are getting their asses kicked tonight
  • Kerr is acting like an idiot instead of coaching
  • Overall the foul calls been complete doo doo. But we getting worked anyways
  • Warriors just don’t have “it” so far this year.
  • very happy Westbrook finally got his ring tonight
  • the Thunder got up for the game and the Warriors didn’t
  • just another game? that cliche is wearing thin
  • Pretty sure the warriors will never win again
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Five Thoughts 11-22-17 (Thunder 108, Warriors 91)

1. Well, hopefully everyone feels better now. I mean this in all sincerity and not just in post game euphoria hyperbole: I would rather the Thunder be 8-9 with THAT performance against Golden State as opposed to being 13-4 with a loss tonight. Dead serious about that. The entire point of forming this team was to make a run at the Warriors. Even while acknowledging they’d still be underdogs, this formation’s goal was to be in that conversation. What we needed to see was that they are capable. No one expects this is how every meeting with the Dubs will play out. But we needed to see it— at least once. While it was one game and one game that mattered WAY more to OKC than it did GS, it wasn’t a fluke. There were real, tangible things that happened out there tonight that prove that the Thunder are a totally different team from last year. And a team that can legitimately give GS fits. As far as I’m concerned the other 9 losses can be put on a shuttle and sent to the Moon. They don’t matter. Not saying that the issues that plagued them in those games aren’t real or that they won’t reappear. But now that I’ve seen THAT, I can live with some ups and downs and even some clunkers.

2. Not sure I’ve ever seen the Dubs offense look that out of sync. We put forth an A+ defensive showing tonight. The scheme was great— our guards went over EVERY screen tonight. And Adams or Grant or whoever was guarding the screener also stayed out by the line. We were absolutely not going to allow open looks beyond the arc. The only time the Warriors saw those was on the break or scramble plays. Curry shook loose for a couple of launches, but those really weren’t good shots; can’t do much about it when those drop. When we had them in the half court, they struggled mightily to even get a clean shot off. It was remarkable. Thunder were committed 100% to remaining disciplined to that approach. While scheme is great, you can only do so much if you don’t have the horses to execute it. They could not have deployed this defense last year. They are able to do it now because of PG13. He was ALL OVER KD tonight. This also allowed Andre to slide over to Klay. And as Andre has proven time and again, as long as he isn’t up against a smaller, quicker guard, he can stick to anyone. It was also nice to see RW remain disciplined and not leave Curry to gamble elsewhere. No doubt the Warriors will adjust the next time we play. They will likely play with more urgency. They may very well shoot better. But what we did to them isn’t going away. We have the physical ability to do to them what no one else can do.

3. Mentioning this third is really burying the lead, but Russ was perfect tonight. That was a virtuoso performance. I’ve been saying all year, if you want to panic, go ahead— but call me when Russ gets back on track. If he gets going and we don’t look better, that’s when you should worry. Well, he got going tonight and we beat the Warriors with ease. We are going to be very, very tough to beat on nights where Russ is playing near peak level. And as this season progresses he will play at peak level more and more frequently. While we have three excellent options, this isn’t a democracy. They don’t all need to share the load equally. This is Russ’s team and PG and Melo need to fall in line behind him (in that order). Russ sets the tone, PG delivers stellar two-way performances, and Melo bails out the offense with his ISO game. That needs to be the identity. Russ was insanely aggressive tonight. He didn’t defer- he attacked. When he attacks the ball sharing will happen naturally. When he attacks the opportunities will open up for the others. Prior to tonight I think Russ has been trying to be polite, for lack of a better word. Then once things go a little south he tries to pull them out and it’s just all discombobulated. I don’t know this for sure, but I think both Melo and PG13 are ready to win. My guess is that they are both ok if Russ is the maestro. I’m sure tonight was pretty fun for all three of them. Russ left Curry in his wake tonight. It was a thing of beauty. That needs to be encouraged, not curtailed.

4. Donovan is patient. He doesn’t panic or fly off the handle. I think that’s a good approach to a team of NBA vets over the course of 82 games. I think he’s done his best job so far in his tenure with the Thunder in the bigger games/moments. I’ve mentioned this before, but he won me over in the 2016 playoffs against the Spurs and Warriors. Since then, I’ve always felt he was better in games that were played more like playoff games. I think he gives the guys a lot of room. I think he understands that going in too hard too often can be desensitizing. Tonight he had a plan for this specific opponent. Early in the game, he made a quick switch to Grant— much faster than normal. But he didn’t give up on Adams either. I watched as Adams exited the floor; Donovan walked stride for stride with him and was talking to him for quite awhile. Once Adams went back in, he had an excellent game. By picking your spots, I think you increase the odds of keeping the team motivated and emotionally engaged. You get a pay off on a night like tonight when the team executes the plan and it all works. Everyone files that away and begins to understand THAT is what winning basketball looks like.

5. Effort was off the charts tonight. Everyone is 100% lying when they say it’s just another game. They played it like a Game 7. They needed it. At the end, I thought Andre was going to need a stretcher to leave the court— he was exhausted. Crowd was awesome. It was a 23 point game in the 4th quarter and fans were reacting as if it was tied. This was a total exhale game for everyone involved with the Thunder. It’s been awhile since I left the arena feeling like that. I told my wife it’s like the Thunder waited until tonight to start the season. It would be nice if this propelled them into a winning streak; it’s about time to start making a move up the ladder. But even if things remain a bit rocky, tonight showed what this team CAN be. And now that we’ve seen it, it’s clear that it is worth the wait.

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 blow out Warriors 108-91

Seven months ago, the Golden State Warriors heard Russell Westbrook say “I’m coming! I’m coming!” It might have not been that night. On Wednesday night, Westbrook brought some new friends and brought it. No longer saying “I’m coming!” He was here. Westbrook powered Oklahoma City to a 108-91 blow out of the Golden State Warriors.

“The effort, the intensity, our disposition in the second half was really good,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said.

Oklahoma City beat the Warriors for the first time since Jan. 2015. They had lost seven in a row before winning tonight.

The Thunder finally did what we’ve wanted them to as they played essentially a 48-minute game. It was intense and it was a playoff level game for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Oklahoma City jumped on the Warriors and never let up. They led by 11 in the opening quarter, pushed it to 17 by halftime. It’s exactly what Oklahoma City needed to help exercise their demons.

“The possibilities were shown tonight,” Donovan said.

With the return of Kevin Durant, the atmosphere continued to be raucous but it wasn’t vile. The boos rained down on the former Thunder favorite. However, there were no cupcake costumes. The Thunder used their talent to punish Durant over and over.

“It seemed pretty civil compared to last year,” Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said.

Durant and Westbrook went head-to-head with Durant calling names. After that, the game took another turn. Oklahoma City turned their 17-point lead into a 26-point lead, with 54 seconds left in the third. The Thunder led 94-68.

“I play the same way every night, whether it’s against Kevin or, whoever we play Friday, Detroit and Reggie Jackson,” Westbrook said.

It’s symbolic. Going back to that Feb. 11 blowout loss to the Warriors. Despite how intense and entertaining the game was, the Warriors led by 26 at their precipice in that game. Less than a year later, the Thunder were on the other end of that footing. Up 26, crowd was flowing and the Thunder’s defense was at a Championship level.

“We had our best game tonight,” Raymond Felton said. “We made up our mind we’re not losing anymore.”

Westbrook finished with 34 points on shooting. He also grabbed 10 rebounds, dishing out nine assists and finishing with four steals. He was everything we loved in him and more. He was mouthy, flashy and down right nasty. His euro-step in the third quarter was so nice, he did it twice.

“His entire leadership tonight was great,” Donovan said.  “Not only on the floor, he had a huge impact on our team as he was really driven throughout the entire game.”

The Thunder pushed their first double-digit lead out in the first quarter when Oklahoma City led 31-20. They’d have a 17-point lead at the break when Westbrook stole a pass, went in for the lay up and put it off the glass. Oklahoma City led 65-48 at the break.

“We sustained a high level of concentration tonight,” Donovan said.

Paul George hit his shoulder shimmy, finding a big three to push the Thunder lead multiple times. George and Carmelo Anthony combined with Westbrook to literally outscore the Warriors “Big Four” on their own74-58. Anthony had 16 in the first half alone. George finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds and Anthony had 22 points, including three three-pointers.

“The stories about the game we lost. They kicked our ass,” Durant said.

It’s the game you’d like to see from Westbrook. He summoned his Why Not? attitude and that was apparent from the opening tip. He went right Steph Curry and anyone else who decided they could guard Westbrook, or at least try. He hit his free throws and dished assists to his opponents. He stole the ball and it was the MVP in his own form, coming up the best when it mattered most.

 

For the Thunder, they’ll have to use short term memories. This win is great. Take the things in which led to the victory and turn them onto the Detroit Pistons. They’ll roll into the Peake at 7 p.m. on Friday night. It will be the second time Reggie Jackson has returned to Oklahoma City to play since his trade two seasons ago.

“Hopefully this starts a run for us,” Felton said. “We cannot go backwards.”

Keys to the Game

Rebound: A+

Oklahoma City dominated the rebounding all night long. In the first two minutes of the game, the Warriors scored a couple of buckets on second chance points. However, Jerami Grant checked in and shut that down. From there on out, Oklahoma City limited the Warriors to five offensive rebounds the final 46 minutes. Oklahoma City out rebounded the Warriors 50-39.

Share the ball: B

Russell Westbrook had nine assists and the rest of the Thunder only had seven assists. You’d like to see more assists from the Thunder, however, you give them “B” because of all of the breakout scores on steals. There were a lot of opportunities that didn’t call for assists.

Get to the line: A

Oklahoma City did just that tonight, took 26 attempts. They were in control all night. They were aggressive and that led to excess free throw attempts. If the Thunder can get to 26 or so attempts per game, the Thunder are going to go on some kind of run coming up. You have to have those easy points and the good guys did tonight.

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Thunder Game Day No. 17: vs. Golden State Warriors

Oklahoma City Thunder (7-9, 5-2 home) vs. Golden State Warriors (13-4, 7-2 away)

Wednesday, Nov. 22 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)

TV: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
TV: ESPN (DirectTV 206, Cox 29, HD 1300, Tulsa Cox HD 1025)
Online Streamhere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 5-point underdog. The over/under is 221.
Notes: Thunder: here | Warriors: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • The Oklahoma City thunder welcome the hated Golden State Warriors into Chesapeake Energy Arena for a showdown with one of the best teams in the Western Conference and one who’s still struggling, 20 percent into the season.
  • Oklahoma City blew another double-digit lead in their loss to New Orleans on Monday night, moving it to six times in nine losses the Thunder have blown a double digit lead and lost.
  • The Golden State Warriors are finding their groove. After starting 1-2, they’ve gone 12-2 in their last 15 games. They’re 9-1 in their last 10 games.
  • Last season, the Warriors swept the Thunder 4-0. While none of the games were competitive score-wise, they were competitive as they were definitely must see TV.

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 will be on ESPN for those not in the Oklahoma City market.
  • You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for game updates.

SCOUTING THE Warriors

  • The Golden State Warriors are 13-4 on the season, second in the Western Conference.
  • In their last 10 games, the Warriors are 9-1.
  • Golden State started the season down 1-2 but have powered back with a 12-2 record in their last 15 games.
  • In their all-time series against the Warriors, Oklahoma City is 135-108.
  • Since relocation to Bricktown, the Thunder and Warriors are tied 16-all.
  • Oklahoma City has not beaten the Warriors since Jan. 16, 2015.
  • The Thunder have lost seven in a row to Golden State.
  • In their last game, the Warriors beat the Nets 118-111 on Sunday, Nov. 19.
  • Injury Report:
    Chris Boucher (knee) is out.
    Kevin Durant (ankle) is a game-time decision.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Golden State came on Feb. 17, 2012, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 110-87 (23-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (26 points) happened twice with the most recent occurrence coming earlier this season on Nov. 3, 2016 (92-122 defeat).

NEW FACES

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder added a bunch of new faces this year.
  • Paul George was acquired on June 30 for Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo.
  • Carmelo Anthony joins the Thunder after Oklahoma City sent Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second round pick to the Knicks for Anthony.
  • Oklahoma City also signed Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson via free agency.
  • Terrance Ferguson was drafted in the first round out of Australia.
  • Oklahoma City also added PJ Dozier, undrafted rookie out of South Carolina to a two-way deal.

OK3

  • The trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony combined for 5,992 total points last season, which is the most by any other set of three teammates in the league this year. They are followed by Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler (5,810 combined points) and Cleveland’s Isaiah Thomas, LeBron James and Derrick Rose (5,307 combined points).

Anthony moving up the ranks

  • Carmelo Anthony currently ranks 24th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (24,456 points) and fourth among active players behind Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James and Vince Carter.
  • Anthony is also one of six players in league history alongside Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce to record 24,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, 2,500 assists, 1,000 steals and 1,000 three-point field goals.

Turnover a New Leaf

  • Through the first ten games of the season, Oklahoma City leads the league in both steals per game (10.60) and opponent turnovers per game (19.0).
  • The Thunder has yet to finish within the Top 5 in the NBA in these categories since they moved to Oklahoma City as their previous season bests were 8.28 steals per game in 2012-13 and 15.2 opponent turnovers per game in 2013-14.
  • Additionally, the Thunder tops the NBA leaderboard for deflections per game (19.2) and forced turnovers on 19.6% of opponent possessions, which tops the league.
  • Paul George ranks first in the league in deflections per game (4.8) and in steals per game (2.40)

Adamsant Scorer

  • Steven Adams currently ranks second in the league in field goal percentage (.676, 48-71 FG).
  • On Oct. 27 at Minnesota, Adams went 8-for-8 through the third quarter, which is his personal best start from the field.
  • As a point of reference, the Thunder record from the floor is held by Serge Ibaka when he went 12-for-12 on 1/31/14.
  • He has scored in double figures in six of the first seven games and led the team in rebounding four times while posting four double-doubles.

Injury Report

  • Oklahoma City is relatively healthy for tonight’s game.

Still good odds

  • According to Sportsbook, the Oklahoma City Thunder have the sixth best odds to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
  • They have the fourth best odds to win the Western Conference behind, the Clippers, Spurs, Rockets, and the Warriors.

Next Up

  • The Thunder hosts Reggie Jackson and the Detroit Pistons on Friday evening at 7 p.m.
  • Then, on Sunday night, Oklahoma City travels to Dallas for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off against the Mavericks.
  • Oklahoma City wraps up the month by going to Orlando on Tuesday, Nov. 29.

Three Keys to the Game

Rebound

Oklahoma City has struggled rebounding this season. In a game against a team like the Warriors limiting them to one shot is key. Also, grabbing second chance opportunities may be a key in stealing a victory. If the Warriors can out rebound the Thunder, it’ll be because they dominated the offensive boards. The Thunder have to step up and rebound. Also: Oklahoma City is 4-0 when they out rebound their opponent.

Share the ball

The Warriors are the league’s highest scoring team and it’s really not that close. Luckily, Oklahoma City is one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. We’ll see how much that matters tonight. Oklahoma City is 1-7 when allowing over 100 points this season. The Thunder are 3-0 when they allow less than 90 points.

Get to the line

Oklahoma City has done a good job getting to the line during their last two wins. However, they have yet to hit 30 free throw attempts. The Thunder are 4-2 when they attempt more free throws than their opponent. Maybe that’s something they can do tonight.

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 Game Day No. 15: at San Antonio Spurs

Oklahoma City Thunder (7-7, 5-2 away) vs. San Antonio Spurs (9-6, 6-2 home)

Friday, Nov. 17 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: AT&T Center (18,581)

TV: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27)
TV: ESPN (DirectTV 206, Cox 29, HD 1300, Tulsa Cox HD 1025)
Online Streamhere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 1.5-point favorite. The over/under is 198.
Notes: Thunder: here | Spurs: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • Your Oklahoma City Thunder are heading to the San Antonio on a three-game winning streak on ESPN tonight.
  • The Thunder started out 4-7 after a four-game losing streak. However, a three-game winning streak has put the Thunder back into the driving seat in the conference.
  • San Antonio is coming off a 98-86 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday evening.
  • Both teams sport a top-four defense in the NBA.

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).
  • If you’re not in Oklahoma, you’ll be able to watch on ESPN tonight.
  • You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for game updates.

SCOUTING THE Spurs

  • The San Antonio Spurs are 9-6 on the season, fourth in the Western Conference.
  • San Antonio is 5-5 in their last 10 games.
  • The Spurs lost to the T-Wolves 98-86 on Wednesday night.
  • In their all-time series against Oklahoma City, the Thunder are 73-90 against San Antonio.
  • Since the relocation, Oklahoma City is 14-18.
  • When games played in the AT&T Center in the regular season, Oklahoma City is 5-10 and have lost four in a row.
  • Last season the Spurs beat the Thunder 2-1 in their regular season series.
  • Kawhi Leonard (quadriceps) is out.
  • Tony Parker (quadriceps) is out.
  • Derrick White (write) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over San Antonio came on Dec. 17, 2012, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 107-93 (14-point margin of victory). Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (39 points) vs. the Spurs occurred during a 91-130 loss on March 25, 2015

NEW FACES

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder added a bunch of new faces this year.
  • Paul George was acquired on June 30 for Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo.
  • Carmelo Anthony joins the Thunder after Oklahoma City sent Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second round pick to the Knicks for Anthony.
  • Oklahoma City also signed Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson via free agency.
  • Terrance Ferguson was drafted in the first round out of Australia.
  • Oklahoma City also added PJ Dozier, undrafted rookie out of South Carolina to a two-way deal.

OK3

  • The trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony combined for 5,992 total points last season, which is the most by any other set of three teammates in the league this year. They are followed by Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler (5,810 combined points) and Cleveland’s Isaiah Thomas, LeBron James and Derrick Rose (5,307 combined points).

Anthony moving up the ranks

  • Carmelo Anthony currently ranks 24th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (24,417 points) and fourth among active players behind Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James and Vince Carter.
  • Anthony is also one of six players in league history alongside Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce to record 24,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, 2,500 assists, 1,000 steals and 1,000 three-point field goals.

Turnover a New Leaf

  • Through the first ten games of the season, Oklahoma City leads the league in both steals per game (10.60) and opponent turnovers per game (19.0).
  • The Thunder has yet to finish within the Top 5 in the NBA in these categories since they moved to Oklahoma City as their previous season bests were 8.28 steals per game in 2012-13 and 15.2 opponent turnovers per game in 2013-14.
  • Additionally, the Thunder tops the NBA leaderboard for deflections per game (19.2) and forced turnovers on 19.6% of opponent possessions, which tops the league.
  • Paul George ranks first in the league in deflections per game (4.8) and in steals per game (2.40)

Adamsant Scorer

  • Steven Adams currently ranks second in the league in field goal percentage (.676, 48-71 FG).
  • On Oct. 27 at Minnesota, Adams went 8-for-8 through the third quarter, which is his personal best start from the field.
  • As a point of reference, the Thunder record from the floor is held by Serge Ibaka when he went 12-for-12 on 1/31/14.
  • He has scored in double figures in six of the first seven games and led the team in rebounding four times while posting four double-doubles.

Injury Report

  • Oklahoma City is relatively healthy at this point.

Still good odds

  • According to Sportsbook, the Oklahoma City Thunder have the sixth best odds to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
  • They have the fourth best odds to win the Western Conference behind, the Clippers, Spurs, Rockets, and the Warriors.

Next Up

  • Oklahoma City then goes to the Pelicans on Monday, Nov. 20.
  • Then, the Thunder host the Warriors on Nov. 22.

Three Keys to the Game

Lawler’s Law

Oklahoma City is 1-6 when the Thunder allow more than 100 points. On the flip, San Antonio is 7-0 when they score at least 100 points. So, if the Thunder can keep the Spurs under 100 points, this might be a sure fire win tonight. If this gets into the 100s, this game is going to be a questionable one.

Control fast break

The Spurs want to get out on the break. They’re only 2-6 when they lose the break. Oklahoma City on the other hand is 5-6, so for the Thunder it doesn’t really matter. However, for the Spurs, it’s a big deal. Limit what the Spurs do and you’ll probably win our first key, too.

Get to the line

Oklahoma City has done a good job getting to the line during their last two wins. Oklahoma City is 3-0 when they attempted more than 30 free throw attempts and are 5-2 when they attempt more free throws than their opponent. Maybe that’s something they can do tonight.

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 Game Day No. 14: vs. Chicago Bulls

Oklahoma City Thunder (6-7, 4-2 home) vs. Chicago Bulls (2-9, 1-5 away)

Wednesday, Nov. 15 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)

TV: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27, U-Verse 751/1751 HD)
Online Streamhere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 12-point favorite. The over/under is 201.5.
Notes: Thunder: here | Bulls: here

SETTING THE SCENE

  • Oklahoma City is going for their third straight victory with the Chicago Bulls in town.
  • Oklahoma City beat the Bulls 101-69 earlier this month in one of the largest victories in Thunder history.
  • Chicago is 1-5 since playing the Thunder.
  • At 93.6 points per game, Chicago has the worst offense in the NBA.

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).
  • You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for game updates.

SCOUTING THE Bulls

  • The Chicago Bulls are 2-9 on the season, 14th in the Eastern Conference. Only Atlanta has a worse record.
  • The Bulls are 1-4 in their last five games.
  • Oklahoma City beat the Bulls 101-69 in their first meeting.
  • In their all-time series, Oklahoma City is 71-73 against the Bulls.
  • Since moving to Oklahoma City, the Thunder are 11-7.
  • When the game is at the Peake, the Thunder are 9-8 vs. Chicago.
  • Oklahoma City has lost back-to-back games vs. the Bulls.
  • In their last time game, the Bulls were spanked by the Spurs 133-94 on Saturday.
  • Justin Holiday (personal) is out.
  • David Nwaba (ankle) is a game-time decision.
  • Zach LaVine (knee) is out.
  • Nikola Mirtoic (face) is out.
  • Cameron Payne (foot) is out.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Chicago came on Oct. 28, 2017, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 101-69 (32-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (28 points) vs. Chicago occurred during an 100-128 loss on Feb. 1, 2017.

NEW FACES

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder added a bunch of new faces this year.
  • Paul George was acquired on June 30 for Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo.
  • Carmelo Anthony joins the Thunder after Oklahoma City sent Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second round pick to the Knicks for Anthony.
  • Oklahoma City also signed Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson via free agency.
  • Terrance Ferguson was drafted in the first round out of Australia.
  • Oklahoma City also added PJ Dozier, undrafted rookie out of South Carolina to a two-way deal.

OK3

  • The trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony combined for 5,992 total points last season, which is the most by any other set of three teammates in the league this year. They are followed by Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Jimmy Butler (5,810 combined points) and Cleveland’s Isaiah Thomas, LeBron James and Derrick Rose (5,307 combined points).

Anthony moving up the ranks

  • Carmelo Anthony currently ranks 24th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (24,399 points) and fourth among active players behind Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James and Vince Carter.
  • Anthony is also one of six players in league history alongside Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce to record 24,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, 2,500 assists, 1,000 steals and 1,000 three-point field goals.

Turnover a New Leaf

  • Through the first ten games of the season, Oklahoma City leads the league in both steals per game (10.60) and opponent turnovers per game (19.0).
  • The Thunder has yet to finish within the Top 5 in the NBA in these categories since they moved to Oklahoma City as their previous season bests were 8.28 steals per game in 2012-13 and 15.2 opponent turnovers per game in 2013-14.
  • Additionally, the Thunder tops the NBA leaderboard for deflections per game (19.2) and forced turnovers on 19.6% of opponent possessions, which tops the league.
  • Paul George ranks first in the league in deflections per game (4.8) and in steals per game (2.40)

Adamsant Scorer

  • Steven Adams currently ranks second in the league in field goal percentage (.676, 48-71 FG).
  • On Oct. 27 at Minnesota, Adams went 8-for-8 through the third quarter, which is his personal best start from the field.
  • As a point of reference, the Thunder record from the floor is held by Serge Ibaka when he went 12-for-12 on 1/31/14.
  • He has scored in double figures in six of the first seven games and led the team in rebounding four times while posting four double-doubles.

Injury Report

  • Steven Adams (calf) is out.
  • Carmelo Anthony (back) is a game-time decision.

Still good odds

  • According to Sportsbook, the Oklahoma City Thunder have the sixth best odds to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
  • They have the fourth best odds to win the Western Conference behind, the Clippers, Spurs, Rockets, and the Warriors.

Next Up

  • The Thunder goes to San Antonio on Friday to play the Spurs. ESPN has your 7 p.m. broadcast.
  • Oklahoma City then goes to the Pelicans on Monday, Nov. 20.
  • Then, the Thunder host the Warriors on Nov. 22.

Three Keys to the Game

Score

The Bulls offense is the NBA’s worst offense. Oklahoma City needs to go out and score and put this game into Lawler’s Law. The Bulls are 0-6 when their opponents hit the 100-point mark. So, get to 100 points and you win the game.

Share the ball

Like rebounding, sharing the ball can be key. Oklahoma City is a cool 4-2 when Russell Westbrook has 10 or more assists. If the MVP gets 10, you might as well chalk up a W tonight. Hopefully he doesn’t try to do it all tonight.

Get to the line

Oklahoma City has done a good job getting to the line during their last two wins. However, they have yet to hit 30 free throw attempts. The Thunder are 4-2 when they attempt more free throws than their opponent. Maybe that’s something they can do tonight.

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!