Oklahoma City Blue clinch Midwest Division

Matthew Will/ThunderDigest

The Oklahoma CIty Blue came from behind to beat the Austin Spurs 98-94 to clinch the Midwest Division on Thursday night at the Cox Convention Center.

With the win, Oklahoma City improves their record to 27-22 on the season. Oklahoma City has won a division for the second straight year. Last season, Oklahoma CIty won the Southwest Division.

It’s a long way coming from two seasons ago where the Thunder were last place in the Southwest Division.

Oklahoma City did it in a comeback fashion. Austin led 60-43 at the break and it appeared the Blue were done for. Austin pushed their lead to 22 right out of the half. It seemed every time Oklahoma City made a run, Austin kept it at a comfortable advantage.

That’s when the blue made their move.

PJ Dozier hit a three, capping off an 11-0 run, bringing the Blue to within 72-62 with 3:31 left in the third quarter. Austin maintained a 78-69 lead after three frames.

Unlike some bad losses for the Blue, Oklahoma City found themselves marching back into the forefront of this one.

Oklahoma City held Austin to only 3 points for the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter. This allowed the Blue to power back and take an 82-81 lead with 5:07 left in regulation after Dozier hit a pull-up jumper.

After trading buckets, Thunder assignee, Dakari Johnson, book ended a Bryce Alford three-pointer to give Oklahoma City a 94-87 lead with 1:09 left in the game.

Oklahoma City hit their free throws down the stretch to clinch the game to cap off a 29-16 Blue advantage in the fourth.

All five Blue starters scored in double figures. Three players finished with double digit rebounds. Johnson led Oklahoma City with 23 points and 13 rebounds. He dished out six assists in the victory.

A big key in the victory was the patience on defense. They only allowed eight free throws for Austin, as Oklahoma City made 14-of-23 from the free throw line.

The Blue wrap up their regular season schedule on Saturday, March 24 in Reno against the Bighorns.

The G League playoffs start on Tuesday, March 27.  Oklahoma City will host either Rio Grande Valley, Texas or Reno. G League playoffs first round is a one-game playoff format. Winner moves onto the Conference semifinals.

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