West matchups

Which first round series will give us an epic showing in the West? (USATSI)
Which first-spherical sequence will give us an epic showing in the West? (USATSI)

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This is a rundown of the Western Conference Playoff Matchups updating with the outcomes Wednesday.

Locked:

San Antonio Spurs (1) vs. Dallas Mavericks (8)

Evaluation: Just for previous time’s sake, we’re getting a great old school Tim Duncan-Dirk Nowitzki duel in the playoffs. The Spurs are four-2 in playoff series in opposition to the Mavericks within the Dirk-Duncan period with the Spurs winning the latest series in 2010. We’re getting two of one of the best perimeter attack teams within the NBA, who execute with incredible precision.

The biggest key to this collection will find yourself being how the Mavericks’ large males play. Dallas has hassle on the boards and so they’re a fairly dangerous defensive unit in most creations they’ve with their lineups. Can anyone step up to proper the interior ship for Dallas or will Duncan and Tiago Splitter have their means inside and within the series?

Oklahoma City Thunder (2) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (7)

Evaluation: After the Grizzlies introduced their presence with authority on the playoff scene in 2011, they had been outlasted by the Thunder in the second round of the playoffs in a pretty epic collection. Last season, we obtained a rematch however this one was sans Russell Westbrook, which allowed the Grizzlies to benefit from focusing on Kevin Durant defensively and making the remainder of the workforce beat them.

This time, the Thunder are wholesome and it is a completely different Durant than we have seen in the past. Who on the Grizzlies is able to conserving him in check? Who will be capable to score at a comparatively related clip to maintain pace with this Thunder group? Which position players will step up and provide some outside taking pictures? Grizzlies have to reply these inquiries to advance past OKC once more.

Los Angeles Clippers (three) vs. Golden State Warriors (6)

Analysis: A couple of days ago, this looked like a much better matchup than what we’re seeing now, thanks to the Andrew Bogut rib injury. This Warriors staff is going to rely closely on Jermaine O’Neal and doubtless David Lee at the five. This implies they’re going to should go heavy defense on the perimeter with a lineup consisting of Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, which could truly assist open things up offensively.

If the Warriors go small, we’ll get an identical attack to what they showed towards the Denver Nuggets final season. Nonetheless, this Clippers team has much more firepower than what the Nuggets may provide. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are enough to deal with with Bogut defending your back on defense. With out that anchor, can they stop enough penetration on the perimeter to neutralize the paint benefit for the Clippers?

Houston Rockets (4) vs. Portland Path Blazers (5)

Evaluation: If you happen to like 3-point shooting, this is the sequence for you. The Rockets and Blazers are one and three, respectively, in three-point makes an attempt per sport and each try to bombard you with exterior attempts. The Rockets capturing the most threes in the NBA however they make 35.6 p.c of them, which is sweet for seventeenth in the NBA. The Blazers’ attempts are rather more efficient, making the league’s ninth greatest proportion at 37.2 p.c.

The important thing for both groups will probably be who can get the stops once they’re needed the most. The Rockets have the fourth finest defense in clutch conditions, but they’ll most likely want a healthy or comparatively wholesome Patrick Beverley to maintain that going while bothering Damian Lillard and his incredible clutch scoring. The Blazers are 19th in clutch protection and will need to discover a strategy to get massive stops.

Jap Conference matchups here.

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Dirk, Mavs storm past Thunder in overtime

Mavs Muscle Previous Thunder In OT

 

DALLAS – Dirk Nowitzki was pissed off by his poor capturing efficiency in Dallas' previous sport. That disappointment, plus a little bit assist from an outdated friend, turned into another big performance by the veteran ahead.

Nowitzki scored seven of his 32 factors in extra time, main the Mavericks to a 128-119 victory over the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder on Tuesday night.

Nowitzki also had 10 rebounds and 6 assists. In Dallas' loss to Brooklyn on Sunday, he was 2 for 12 from the sector in his worst taking pictures performance of the season.

"The last recreation was disappointing for me," Nowitzki said. "I was simply hesitating too much, so I had to return to having fun out there and simply being me.

"That was a heck of a game, and it was fun to be a part of."

The 7-foot Nowitzki was eleven for 23 from the sphere and 8 for eight on the line.

"His emotion and his attitude carried the staff," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "He is a prideful man. I believe great players are great for a reason. They by no means let something keep them down for lengthy. He is bounced back from each adversity he is ever had in his profession, so that is no shock."

Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with forty three points. He has scored a minimum of 25 in 36 consecutive video games within the longest such streak since Michael Jordan's forty-recreation run in the course of the 1986-87 season.

Dallas had seven gamers rating in double figures. Jose Calderon went 6 for eight from 3-point range and finished with 22 factors.

Nowitzki mentioned he frolicked on Tuesday with Holger Geschwinder, his longtime basketball mentor from his home country of Germany. He stated they got in just a little taking pictures work.

"I suppose he was tired of watching my capturing proportion," Nowitzki said. "It's at all times good when he's there."

Russell Westbrook scored 23 for Oklahoma City. All of his factors got here in regulation, when he played 31:50. He added another minute in additional time.

Westbrook is proscribed to 30 to 32 minutes per game because of his oft-injured right knee.

Oklahoma Metropolis was coming off a 117-ninety six victory over Denver on Monday evening. The Thunder had received four in a row.

"I am pleased with our guys' effort and power, getting back from again-to-back games," coach Scott Brooks said. "I am unable to complain about anything we did tonight."

"We didn't make the big play," said Durant, who has scored 40 factors or more 13 occasions this season. "They made photographs in additional time. It's a must to give them credit."

The Mavericks scored the primary 5 points of the additional period on two free throws by Nowitzki and a three-pointer by Calderon. They by no means trailed again.

The victory pushed Dallas into eighth place in the Western Convention, a half-recreation forward of idle Phoenix. The Mavericks improved to 3-2 on a franchise-long, eight-recreation homestand, with three of the games going to overtime. They began the homestand in seventh place, 1 half forward of the ninth-place Suns.

Calderon returned to the beginning lineup after being knocked out of Sunday evening's game in the first minute. He was whacked in the face by Brooklyn's Mason Plumlee, chipping a facial bone between his nose and mouth.

Calderon mentioned the injury only hurts when he talks or laughs. "And I don't have to giggle throughout video games," he stated.

One other of Calderon's 3s came with 26.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter and sent the game into time beyond regulation.

"It felt good from the beginning," he stated, "however you do not know till that ball goes by way of the rim."

Dallas received 109-86 at Oklahoma City on March sixteen in the Thunder's worst lack of the season. Westbrook missed that game as a result of the workforce desires to restrict the exercise for his surgically repaired knee, choosing to rest him in a single a part of back-to-back games.

Westbrook was the catalyst of Oklahoma City's second-quarter rally after the Thunder fell behind by 10. He scored 10 factors in the interval, including a foul shot that gave Oklahoma City a 57-forty eight lead with 1:25 to go.

But the Mavericks answered with three consecutive 3-pointers – one from Calderon and two from Vince Carter – to tie it with 33.4 left in the half. Durant then hit a three to provide Oklahoma City a 60-fifty nine lead at the break.

The Thunder hit 14 of 18 pictures within the interval and shot 57.1 percent for the half.

 

Game notes

Thunder middle Kendrick Perkins, sidelined since Feb. 20 with a groin strain, is hoping to return at Houston on April four… If Dallas finishes among the many league's top-10 groups, Oklahoma Metropolis will get the Mavericks' first-round draft selection next summer season because of a collection of trades.

 

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J.C. Tran Headlines World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder Main Event Final Table

Chip leader Quoc PhamA total of 465 entries were made in the inaugural World Poker Tour Rolling Thunder $3,500 no-limit hold’em main event at the Thunder Valley Casino outside of Sacramento, California. From that sizable turnout only six players now remain to battle it out for the lion’s share of the $1,488,000 prize pool and the chance to become the latest WPT champion.

The chip leader at the final table tomorrow will be Bay 101 tournament director Quoc Pham with 5,580,000. He is joined by Preston Harwell, Mimi Luu, Benjamin Zamani, Ken Jorgensen, and Sacremento native JC Tran. Tran, a two-time WSOP gold bracelet winner and WPT champion, is undeniably the most accomplished live tournament player entering the final day, but has the second shortest stack with only 710,000 (23 big blinds at 15,000 – 30,000 with a 3,000 ante.)

The final table bubble lasted 97 hands, with Ryan D’Angelo eventually hitting the rail in seventh place after he got all-in on a board of JHeart Suit9Diamond Suit5Heart Suit4Spade Suit with the 9Club Suit8Heart Suit against Benjamin Zamani’s AClub SuitJDiamond Suit. The river brought the QHeart Suit, securing the pot for Zamani and sending D’Angelo to the rail in seventh place with $41,410.

Here is a look at the chip counts heading into the final table:

Rank Player Chip Count
1 Quoc Pham 5,580,000
2 Preston Harwell 4,425,000
3 Benjamin Zamani 1,990,000
4 Mimi Luu 735,000
5 J.C. Tran 710,000
6 Ken Jorgensen 510,000

Photos courtesy of World Poker Tour.

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Thunder vs heat preview

Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat (-4, 204) Kevin Durant's recent scoring barrage has moved him front and center in the race for the NBA's most valuable player award. On Wednesday Durant will come face-to-face with the greatest challenge to his MVP quest as he leads the Oklahoma City Thunder into Miami to face LeBron James and the powerhouse Heat.

Durant has scored 30 or more points in 11 straight games, the main catalyst behind the Thunder's eight-game winning streak. Durant is on the fast track to his fourth NBA scoring title, but faces one of his toughest assignments of the year – tasked with scoring on, and defending, the four-time league MVP and two-time defending NBA champion. James' numbers have taken a tumble in recent years, but he remains the most productive player on a team that sits second in the Eastern Conference. James will have help, too, as Dwyane Wade returns to the starting lineup.

LINE HISTORY:

Miami opened -4. 5 and was bet down to -4. The total opened 204 in Las Vegas and was bet down to 203. 5.

POWER RANKINGS:

Thunder (-12. 5) – Heat (-14. 3) + Home Court (-3. 0) = Heat -4. 8

KEY INJURIES:

Thunder: Russell Westbrook (Out – knee), Heat: Dwyane Wade (Probable – knee)

WHAT BOOKS SAY:

"Most of the main rival teams at the top – Indiana, San Antonio, L. A. Clippers – would be +5 and bigger in Miami, but Oklahoma City and Durant are getting respect for how they are playing without Westbrook. Even though Durant is getting all the accolades for his recent play, and rightfully so – hes the current MVP frontrunner, the Thunder have the inside matchup edge with Perkins and Ibaka, plus Collison and Adams off the bench. " – Aron Black, Bet365. com.

WHAT SHARPS SAY:

"A bit surprising that Thunder actually have a better record right now than the Heat, despite playing with Russell Westbrook for the past 18 games. What has been most impressive to me is that OKC is 4-1 SU in their five games as an underdog without Westbrook during those past 18 games, meaning they have played very well against quality teams, even while short-handed. "

Thunder Dancers or Heat Dancers?

 

WHY BET THE THUNDER (36-10 SU, 27-19 ATS, 22-24 O/U):

Durant isn't just shooting his way to superstardom – he's thinking his way around defensive schemes designed to shut him down. Durant hit the game-winning shot in Monday's narrow victory over the Atlanta Hawks, and said afterward that he was successful because he had seen the game-ending defensive setup before. "This is the third team we played that's been under that San Antonio umbrella, " he said of the Hawks' approach. "They brought that (double-team). And they were bold enough to do it in the fourth quarter. " Durant averages 29. 3 points in 12 career games against the Heat.

WHY BET THE HEAT (32-12 SU, 19-25 ATS, 27-17 O/U):

Wade was given the green light to join the starting five after coming off the bench in Sunday's one-sided win over the San Antonio Spurs. Wade, who scored eight points in 24 minutes in a reserve role, relishes the challenge of facing the team with the best record in the West. "I asked (head coach Eric Spoelstra) to take me out as a starter that one game, but I didn't ask him to do it the whole year, " Wade told reporters Monday. "So we can stop that conversation. " Miami is an Eastern Conference-best 12-2 against West foes.

TRENDS: * Favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.

* Home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.

* Thunder are 0-6 ATS in the last six meetings.

* Thunder are 0-5 ATS in the last five meetings in Miami. CONSENSUS PICK:

54 % on Oklahoma City +4, 75 % on Over 204.

 

Kevin Durant Tells Blazers He’s Going to ‘Take this sh!t over,” Then Rallies Thunder to Victory

kevin bleeping durant

Kevin Durant is on such a scoring binge, NBA writers are running out of adjectives to describe just how phenomenal he’s playing. Tuesday evening, with the Thunder trailing Portland at dwelling 93-ninety in the fourth quarter, Durant slammed his hand on the scorer’s desk. He was whistled for a technical foul.

What happened next is something out of Michael Jordan’s e-book: Durant scored in the lane, then made a three-pointer, and started jawing at the Portland bench (4:20 within the video), reportedly saying, “I’m about to take this shit over.” And that’s what he did: OKC closed the game on a 15-4 run – Durant had eleven – to beat the Blazers. The NBA’s main scorer finished with 46 factors on a ruthlessly efficient 17-of-25 from the field, including 6-of-7 from deep. Afterward, Portland’s Mo Williams said, “The way he was enjoying, he in all probability could have scored on Jesus.”

Durant, going at it alone with Russell Westbrook injured, is doing things that seem unfathomable.:

* fifth time he’s scored forty or more this season
* four of the forty+ point performances have come within the last 10 video games
* Final 14 games: 36.5 ppg
* Final three video games: 66 % on 3-point shooting, 72 p.c midrange shooting

Durant, Westbrook too much as Thunder thump Knicks

NY – Not only was there no Kevin Durant-Carmelo Anthony showdown, there wasn’t a lot of a recreation, both.

The Oklahoma City Thunder made certain of it with the most dominant performance ever by a highway crew on Christmas.

Durant scored 29 factors, Russell Westbrook had a triple-double by the middle of the third quarter, and the Thunder rolled to a 123-ninety four victory Wednesday over the New York Knicks.

The 29-level victory was the most important for a road team on Christmas.

“I just know that if we play the way in which we play, staff basketball, Thunder basketball, not too many teams that can beat us,” Westbrook said.

The Knicks, without Anthony, weren’t one in all them.

The matchup between the NBA’s high two scorers was canceled due to Anthony’s sprained left ankle, so the Thunder had the Christmas highlight all to themselves while successful for the 10th time in eleven games.

Westbrook finished with 14 factors, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in his first triple-double of the season and seventh of his profession. Serge Ibaka added 24 factors on 10-of-14 taking pictures because the Thunder left a sellout crowd of 19,812 booing the house crew, or making no noise at all.

“I said that on the bench, I used to be like, `Man, it appears like no one’s in right here,'” Durant mentioned.

Amare Stoudemire scored a season-excessive 22 points, and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 21 for the Knicks, who additionally have been lacking place to begin guard Raymond Felton. J.R. Smith scored 20 points, however shot 8 for 22 and was booed when he left the court docket for good.

Anthony sat out for the primary time this season. The Knicks have been by no means actually in it with out him and may not have had an opportunity with him the way in which the Thunder performed.

“Defensively, we simply weren’t there tonight,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson mentioned.

The Knicks not solely had hassle with the Thunder, but additionally with the special edition sleeved jerseys NBA groups are carrying on Christmas.

Beno Udrih hit the facet of the backboard on two shot makes an attempt within the first half, tugging on his sleeve after the second as if blaming his struggles on his gear.

Oklahoma Metropolis had a a lot simpler time in the uniforms. Coach Scott Brooks said before the sport the Thunder hadn’t had a formal observe in them, but gamers had shot around the previous couple of days within the jerseys that featured a giant logo in the middle of the chest and jersey numbers on the left sleeve.

“They appear nice. Hopefully, we play properly in them,” Brooks stated.

They performed fantastically.

Coming off a 104-ninety eight loss to Toronto on Sunday that ended a 9-game profitable streak and was their first setback at house this season, they shot fifty four percent and got 18 factors from Reggie Jackson.

Durant made all 5 shots in the first quarter, with the Thunder leading 35-29 after capturing 70 p.c. Jackson and Durant made three-pointers to begin the second, making Oklahoma Metropolis sixteen of 22. Ibaka did a lot of the work in an eight-2 spurt midway by way of the period that prolonged the result in 17, and the Thunder led 60-46 at halftime.

Durant and Westbrook took turns being unguardable on the perimeter in the third, boos rising louder as Oklahoma City went on to its sixth straight highway victory.

“I mean, I’m disillusioned with them. Honestly, my disappointment most likely outweighs theirs,” Knicks heart Tyson Chandler said about the fans. “It is what it’s. They come out here to see a show and so they come here to see their group play laborious and I perceive it.”

Anthony was harm Monday evening in a victory at Orlando, saying afterward he hoped to play Wednesday. However he looked glum and wasn’t strolling significantly nicely by the locker room space after getting treatment and testing the ankle, and the Knicks introduced he wouldn’t be in uniform about 50 minutes before the start.

He sat on the bench carrying a brown sports activities jacket, getting up slowly throughout timeouts every time the Knicks known as them in a futile try to stop the Thunder’s onslaught.

The Knicks fell to 0-7 in orange uniforms this season.

Notes

Chris Smith, J.R.’s brother, made his NBA debut with a scoreless minute on the end… Kenyon Martin returned to the Knicks after lacking 5 games with a strained left stomach muscle… Woodson stated he thought Felton (strained proper groin) would see more doctors Thursday, perhaps getting a greater idea how long he can be out. The Knicks have been additionally with out Metta World Peace, who has been battling a sore left knee.

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Thunder tame Spurs, take home 9th in row

Thunder Put Away Spurs

 

"Well, I'm sure we'd like to have Kawhi, but that happens to every NBA team at some point in the season, " Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "You don't lose just because of that. We would have loved to have had him, but they played better than we did tonight for more of the game. "

Kevin Durant, whom Leonard would have defended, only had 17 points while going 6-for-14 from the field.

 

Instead, it was Westbrook and reserve guard Reggie Jackson who proved difficult to stop.

 

Jackson had 21 points, four assists and only one turnover in 30 minutes.

 

"This is the second game he's been playing good against us, " Parker said. "We have to find a solution for him. Westbrook and Durant, they are going to score and take a lot of shots, but we can't let Jackson score that much. That's two games in a row that I felt he's the one that hurt us the most. "

 

Westbrook and Jackson were a combined 21-for-36 and handed out 12 assists.

 

Playing their seventh game in 10 days, the Spurs looked lethargic after a strong start.

 

The Thunder never trailed after Jackson's reverse layup put them up 21-19 with a minute remaining in the first quarter. Jackson had 10 points in the quarter.

 

"Once we move the ball the way we did tonight, everybody touches it, we're a pretty good team, " Durant said. "Once (the ball) gets sticky and try to play one-on-one, that's when we kind of struggle. Russell is doing a great job of getting everybody involved and picking and choosing his spots; when to score. "

 

The Spurs had won six of seven entering Saturday's game, but couldn't recover from the second-quarter pasting.

 

"They made a lot of shots, you have to give them credit, " Parker said. "I thought overall we played well, but they just played better. "

 

The Spurs committed five turnovers while taking only 17 shots in the period, which was one less than the Thunder made.

 

San Antonio was 20-for-49 in the paint, continually missing layups.

 

"That was tough, " Parker said. "We couldn't get a lead. We were playing well, we made some stops, but we missed a lot of layups, that's basketball. "

 

The Spurs pulled within a pair of baskets on several occasions in the second half, but the Thunder responded with a small run each time.

 

Jackson was usually at the forefront of the runs, going 8-for-14.

 

"I just told the guys to keep inspiring each other on the defensive end, " Brooks said. "I told them to help their teammates out when they needed help and I felt they did that extremely well tonight. We have improved in that area for the past few years, but tonight was really good. "

Game notes

Parker (shin bruise) was questionable, but started and played 33 minutes. He had eight assists while shooting 6-for-14… Entering Saturday's game, the Thunder were averaging 109. 9 points during their eight-game winning streak and shooting 50. 2 percent… Popovich was whistled for a technical foul after complaining to official Monty McCutchen about a non-call on

Tiago Splitter

's dunk attempt against Ibaka.

 

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post

NBA Prediction Week 7 Game Preview/Pick- Thunder vs. Nuggets

thunder-nuggets-t1

Oklahoma City Thunder (19-4) @ Denver Nuggets (14-9) 12/17- 9:00PM EST

 

Line: OKC -2.5

Over/Under: 207

 

The Oklahoma City Thunder roll into Denver on Tuesday night as the NBA’s hottest team as they look to extend their win streak to seven games and it’s been easy to this point as they are crushing their opponents.

 

The Thunder (19-4) have won 14 of their last 15 games by simply utilizing their speed and athleticism on both ends of the court.

 

The magnificent duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are leading the way for the Thunder with an average of 17.8 fast break points per contest.

 

Durant with his 28.5 points per game is first in the league in scoring and is getting it done attacking the basket, with 95 of his 206 field goals coming from around or at the net.

 

Westbrook is averaging 21.0 points and with team-leading 40 steals is creating opportunities and opening the floor for his teammates.

 

It just gets us easy baskets,” Durant said. “Once you start to hit layups and get dunks, it opens the flood gates a little bit.”

 

The Thunder won on Sunday night 101-98 against the Orlando Magic as they were finally challenged, but only because they blew a 16-point lead.

 

We were able to get started there, but you have to be able to play 48 minutes,” said Durant.

 

Revenge will be on the minds of the Nuggets (14-9) after a poor defensive performance led to a 115-113 loss at Oklahoma City back on November 18, when Durant went for 38 points and Westbrook added 30.

 

Denver has played well at home winning seven of their last eight, but coach Brian Shaw admits it will take a different level of play to beat the Thunder.

 

I told them that if we want any chance of winning against Okalahoma City, we’re going to have to do a lot better in every area to even have a chance to win that game,” Shaw said.

 

At just 5-foot-9, guard Nate Robinson has been a spark off the bench for the Nuggets accounting for 14.7 points per game and his getting it done on the defensive side of the ball as well.

 

Despite the Nuggets strong play at home, the oddsmakers have made the visiting Thunder a slim (minus -2.5) point favorite in the Mile High City, but get the latest odds for the game here at Wonder Punter up until game time.

 

I too, agree and predict the Thunder leaving Denver with a big road win as they are just playing on a different level right now.

 

Prediction/Pick: Oklahoma City

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

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Thunder fan runs on court during halftime to propose to girlfriend

Dec 15, 2013; Oklahoma City, OKAY, USA; Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson (14) dribbles the ball in entrance of Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook (zero) during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Enviornment. Obligatory Credit score: Mark D. Smith-USA AT PRESENT Sports activities

In response to Thunder beat author Darnell Mayberry, a fan rushed to half-courtroom during halftime of Sunday night’s Oklahoma City-Orlando tilt at Chesapeake Vitality Area in OKC.

In what was clearly unplanned (or, no less than, unbeknownst to enviornment offficials and therefore illegal), a man by the identify of John Koyck pulled his girlfriend onto the court docket and tried to propose. Safety pulled the couple off the court, though they apparently allowed the proposal to be accomplished on the sideline.

Clearly, they’ll be in some bother with regulation (you already know, trespassing and all). Mayberry tried to speak with the couple after the sport however was told by the police that they’d “some enterprise” to deal with earlier than they could converse to the media.

Right here’s hoping there aren’t too many of us that play copycat. Not less than it was at halftime, and not during play although, right?

UPDATE: Evidently, the friendly police and safety folks in Oklahoma Metropolis have allowed the young lovebirds to return to their seats and revel in the rest of the sport. Huh. Didn’t see that coming.

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Durant, Thunder end Spurs win streak at 11

Durant Leads Thunder Previous Spurs

VIDEO PLAYLIST video

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    Durant Leads Thunder Previous Spurs

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    Mavericks Hold Off Warriors

OKLAHOMA METROPOLIS – The pictures weren't falling early for Kevin Durant and never fell for Russell Westbrook, so it was Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb who carried the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder to their most impressive win of the season.

Durant completed with 24 factors and thirteen rebounds, Jackson matched his profession excessive with 23 factors on 10-of-14 capturing and Lamb scored 12 factors on 5-of-7 capturing, lifting the Thunder to a ninety four-88 win over San Antonio and snapping the Spurs' eleven-sport profitable streak.

Jackson scored eight straight points for the Thunder throughout a surge early in the fourth quarter that put Oklahoma City ahead by 11 points. The Spurs rallied inside three points earlier than Jackson and Durant mixed to score the Thunder's final thirteen factors and put the game away.

"We couldn't guard (Jackson) tonight," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich mentioned. "He really helped them. He was basically the difference in the game. He did an important job."

Serge Ibaka added 17 points and eleven rebounds for Oklahoma Metropolis, which is 7-0 at dwelling, the franchise's best dwelling begin since 2004-05, when it was in Seattle. The Thunder have won five straight, their longest streak of the season.

The Thunder took management of a good recreation with an 8-0 run in the third quarter and withstood a run by San Antonio halfway through the fourth.

"I just attacked gaps and pictures went down for all of us," Jackson stated. "We just saved making an attempt to get within the lane and make the passes for the subsequent man and just hold attacking the bigs off decide-and-rolls… I believe we as a staff, we did it fairly efficiently tonight, but it began defensively."

Tony Parker had sixteen factors and seven assists for San Antonio (13-2), which was looking for the most effective begin in franchise historical past. The Spurs also began thirteen-1 throughout the 2010-eleven season. Portland, which entered Wednesday on an eleven-sport winning streak, is the only different workforce to have beaten San Antonio this season.

During their earlier eight games, the Spurs had overwhelmed opponents by an average of 19.1 points, with all these wins by nine or extra factors. But fellow Western Convention power Oklahoma City (10-3) represented a step up in competition, and the Spurs misplaced for the third straight time at Chesapeake Vitality Area.

San Antonio shot 39.1 p.c from the sector and went 7 of 27 (25.9 p.c) from three-level range. The latter number notably irked Popovich, who said his workforce didn't assault the basket as much as he'd like.

"I thought a reasonably good percentage of ours tonight have been hurried or frenetic at times," Popovich stated. "I did not like our choice."

Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks agreed with Popovich that almost all of the Spurs' three-level attempts benefited the Thunder.

"I assumed our protection was excellent," Brooks mentioned. "I feel in the final three or four video games we've put a string of defensive efforts and defensive performances together we are able to continue to construct on.

"Going into this game they'd won 11 in a row and were the most popular workforce in basketball and with the way they rating they're a hard staff to guard. I assumed our guys did a good job with our size making them miss pictures and I assumed defense was the key tonight."

Durant and Westbrook combined to shoot 6 of 24 in the first half – 1 of 9 from 3-point range – and the Spurs led 46-43 at halftime. Meanwhile, Kawhi Leonard went 6 of 12 from the sphere and had thirteen first-half points for San Antonio.

With common stalwarts Durant and Westbrook struggling, Ibaka picked up the slack early within the third quarter, scoring 10 straight points for Oklahoma Metropolis popping out of halftime. That seemed to get up the Thunder they usually went on an 8-zero run to take their largest result in that point at 59-fifty two on a dunk by Durant at the 5:08 mark.

Lamb hit a 3-pointer and a 2-pointer within the ultimate 1:35 of the third quarter to increase the result in sixty eight-fifty nine and Jackson's driving layup gave the Thunder a seventy eight-sixty seven lead with eight:forty seven left. It was the primary double-digit benefit for both group.

That was Oklahoma Metropolis's final field goal for more than four½ minutes, allowing the Spurs to achieve ground. Marco Belinelli's basket with 6:forty six left pulled San Antonio inside seventy nine-76 but then the Spurs went cold as properly, missing their subsequent 4 pictures.

Ibaka's putback with 4:12 left ended the Thunder's drought and Jackson followed with an 11-foot jumper to make it 83-seventy seven. Durant, who finished 10 of 23 from the sector, then grabbed the rebound after a miss by Leonard and drove the length of the court for a basket while being fouled. He made the free throw to put Oklahoma City forward 86-77 with 2:56 left.

Jackson "was aggressive all evening attending to the rim," Durant said. "That's what he does. No person can keep in entrance of him… He gave us a pleasant spark and people guys, him and Jeremy, Fish (Derek Fisher), these guys are actually the reason we received the basketball sport."

Game notes

Earlier than the sport, Popovich and Oklahoma City general supervisor Sam Presti chatted briefly outdoors the Spurs' locker room. Presti was an assistant GM with the Spurs earlier than taking the identical job with the Thunder franchise in 2007… Referee Monty McCutchen called Oklahoma City's Fisher for three fouls on one San Antonio second-quarter possession. After an unlawful display name on the Spurs to end the possession, Fisher told McCutchen, "That is horrible." McCutchen responded, "Don't discuss to me."

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Clippers outshine Thunder following scuffle

Clippers Win Physical Battle With Thunder

 

LOS ANGELES – The Clippers are searching for defensive intensity under new coach Doc Rivers. They discovered it for the ultimate 24 minutes towards the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder.

Blake Griffin had 22 factors and 12 rebounds after being concerned in a first-half scuffle that resulted in two ejections, sparking Los Angeles to a 111-103 victory Wednesday evening.

“You would have to say it woke us up somewhat bit,” J.J. Redick mentioned. “It damage both groups.”

Serge Ibaka of the Thunder and Matt Barnes of the Clippers were ejected, and Griffin obtained a technical foul for his half within the altercation with six seconds left in the second quarter.

“Just a little further after the play,” Griffin stated.

Kevin Durant had 33 points, making 15 of 17 free throws, and 10 assists to lead the Thunder, who had received four straight. Russell Westbrook added 19 points and 10 assists.

“They just beat us,” Durant said. “We’ve got to complete the sport out. No excuses, irrespective of who’s on the market. Of course we might quite have Serge out there, but it didn’t occur like that. We still had an opportunity to win the sport.”

Jamal Crawford scored 20 points off the bench for the Clippers, who had six players in double figures while successful their third in a row. DeAndre Jordan and Redick scored 15 each, and Chris Paul had 14 factors and sixteen assists.

The fireworks began when Griffin was attempting to put the ball up and his arms and Ibaka’s turned entangled. Barnes shoved Ibaka arduous within the chest. Griffin kept trying to get at Ibaka as gamers from both groups shaped a scrum.

“I didn’t suppose it was going to turn into that,” Griffin stated. “After I rotated and heard the oohs and aahs, (I) knew we were into one thing.”

Ibaka cocked his right fist however didn’t take a swing as Barnes smiled at him. As he left the court docket, Barnes reached over a barrier, grabbed his younger son and held his hand as he walked off. Later, Barnes left the locker room earlier than media members have been allowed in.

“I did not see the video after that, so I will strive to verify I watch it,” Ibaka said. “I was disillusioned, however I’ll be taught from my mistake. I do not need to think about it no more.”

Durant made the free throw on Griffin’s technical and Westbrook hit a three-pointer to present the Thunder a 62-53 lead at the break.

“I have no complaints about what happened,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “We did not lose the game due to that incident, trust me. The bottom line is they outplayed us.”

The change certainly riled up the Clippers.

Down by 10 early in the third, they rallied with a 14-2 spurt to go up 74-71, their first lead for the reason that opening quarter. Redick had a pair of free throws and a three-pointer, Paul had two free throws and a basket, and Griffin capped it with five straight points.

He stole the ball and dribbled down the court, driving in for a layup. After a timeout, Durant misplaced the ball and Griffin scored again while getting fouled. He made the free throw.

The Thunder were outscored 30-16 within the third, by which they shot 29 percent and acquired outrebounded 13-7.

“What I beloved about the third quarter, each single man got here in and did something,” Rivers stated.

Throughout the Clippers’ run, Ryan Gomes, Nick Collison and Thabo Sefolosha all picked up their fourth fouls. Gomes began the second half rather than Ibaka.

Los Angeles shot 7-of-eight on free throws late in the interval to take an 83-78 lead into the fourth.

The Clippers forced turnovers and contested photographs in the fourth once they weren’t scoring. They opened with an eight-0 run to take a ninety one-seventy eight lead on the strength of their bench taking pictures.

The Thunder couldn’t get a sustained run collectively while turning the ball over in opposition to a team they swept in three games last season.

After his ejection, Barnes tweeted, “I like my teammates like family, but I am ACCOMPLISHED standing up for these n-as! All this s- does is value me cash. …” The tweet was later deleted.

“I believe he was very emotional,” Rivers stated, adding that he wasn’t a fan of the derogatory term Barnes used.

Griffin, Paul and Redick all described Barnes as a great teammate.

“I don’t know what he meant by it, however I do know what his intent is for his teammates,” Redick stated.

Paul said he hadn’t seen the tweet.

“I am going to have to learn that and analyze it myself,” he said. “We won, though.”

Griffin also said he hadn’t seen Barnes’ tweet, adding, “He does an ideal job of sticking up for us. We recognize what Matt does for us.”

Jared Dudley, who had 10 factors, stated he would have accomplished the same thing for Barnes.

“He’s a very robust man and sometimes he needs that (from) everyone,” Dudley mentioned. “It goes both methods. We’ve got to be a little bit tougher, and he’s received to be a bit of bit smarter.”

Ibaka had 13 points on perfect capturing earlier than his ejection. He hit all six photographs from the field and was 1-of-1 from the road. Barnes was scoreless in simply less than eight minutes.

Recreation notes

Paul grew to become the first participant in Clippers history to have at the very least 10 factors and 10 assists in each of the first 9 games of a season. The previous participant to do it was Magic Johnson of the Lakers within the first eleven games of the 1990-91 season… The Thunder play on back-to-again nights for the primary time this season when they go to Golden State on Thursday… Thunder C

Kendrick Perkins

wasn’t with the workforce after his grandfather died Monday. He was raised by his grandparents in Beaumont, Texas. Rivers, who coached Perkins in Boston, talked to him Tuesday.

 

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Westbrook nets 21 in return as Thunder win

Westbrook Returns In Thunder Win

OKLAHOMA CITY – After a six-month layoff, Russell Westbrook looked loads like his previous self.

The All-Star level guard had 21 points and 7 assists as the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder, regardless of capturing 2 of 18 from 3-level range, beat the Phoenix Suns 103-96 on Sunday evening.

Kevin Durant had 33 factors and 10 rebounds for the Thunder, who won their fifth straight residence opener and defeated Phoenix (2-1) for the eleventh straight time. The Suns final beat Oklahoma Metropolis (2-1) in December 2010.

Westbrook, sidelined after first tearing the lateral meniscus in his right knee in the course of the second sport of the NBA playoffs, then having a medical setback, returned three to 5 weeks ahead of the staff’s previously introduced timetable. He stated before the sport he by no means thought it will take him that lengthy to return back.

After the game he stated he felt slightly rusty however seemed glad with his effort.

“I simply missed some simple ones however that can come,” Westbrook stated. “I will do what I need. I could possibly be higher but that is all right. That is anticipated. I am not anticipated to come back back and be bionic man. I’m just going to work my manner through it.”

Thunder coach Scott Brooks came away impressed with Westbrook’s outing.

“There are two things that (Westbrook) does at a high level,” Brooks stated. “He wins. He’s a winner. The guy performs the sport like it’s purported to be performed. It’s not all the time going to be good however he performs with all the pieces he has each single evening. To me that is inspiring. The second thing is leadership. It is taken him a while to get that Now he is our leader.”

Brooks wasn’t as glowing in regards to the team’s capturing.

“Clearly, we have got to shoot the ball a lot better,” he said. “We won’t proceed to shoot that from the 3-point line. I do not like to speak about it much but it’s exhausting to cover 2 for 18. However I will say this – I believe within the guys taking shots. They’re getting attractiveness. They are going to fall.”

 Russell Westbrook

Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Pictures

Russell Westbrook returned weeks forward of schedule and scored 21 factors in OKC’s residence opener.

Eric Bledsoe scored 26 points – one off his profession high – and added a profession-finest 14 assists for Phoenix, which opened the season with home wins over Portland and Utah. The Suns stayed with Oklahoma Metropolis due to 14-of-37 3-level capturing but finally have been carried out in by 23 turnovers.

Serge Ibaka added 9 points and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma City.

Phoenix led seventy nine-73 after a three-pointer by Bledsoe with 7:46 left, but the Thunder scored next eight factors, including layups by Westbrook and Reggie Jackson, the latter putting Oklahoma Metropolis forward 81-seventy nine with 6:11 left.

Channing Frye’s basket tied the sport for Phoenix, but the Thunder went on a 14-6 run, highlighted by three-point plays from Ibaka and Derek Fisher, to take a ninety five-87 lead with 2:19 left.

The Suns pulled within 95-92 before Durant slammed home a missed layup by Westbrook with 32.8 seconds left. Gerald Green hit a three-pointer from the corner to cap a 21-point performance, however Westbrook and Durant mixed to go 6-of-6 from the free throw line over the ultimate 29.3 seconds to seal the win.

“Our guys fought hard and that’s an excellent workforce and we had a chance to win on their court, so I’m pretty happy with the hassle,” Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek said.

“That’s the last word aim, when you go on the road, is to have an opportunity at the end, particularly a workforce like this. It’s very difficult to win on this health club. We have been proper there and had some possibilities.”

Westbrook’s motion was his first since April, when Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley banged knees with him whereas going for a steal after Westbrook had stopped to name a timeout.

Westbrook underwent an initial surgical procedure for the damage on April 27. He underwent another surgery on Oct. 1 to remove a unfastened sew from the first process. At the time, the Thunder mentioned he would miss the primary 4 to 6 weeks of the regular season. Beneath that timetable, Westbrook could have been out for as many as 22 games.

As an alternative, he missed only two video games – a win at Utah on Wednesday and a loss at Minnesota on Friday.

Often the primary participant introduced throughout pre-game introductions, Westbrook as a substitute was the final and he drew an infinite roar from the sellout crowd at Chesapeake Power Arena. A team spokesman stated after the game that Durant – who normally is launched last – requested that Westbrook be introduced last instead, though Durant declined to take credit for the thought when requested about it.

“It was good for him to be again,” Durant said. “I know how a lot he loves the game. The group was nice. Unbelievable. Classy group of fans. Always behind (Westbrook) and accepted him so nicely tonight. It was cool to see.”

Westbrook instantly returned to his aggressive self on the courtroom, scoring his first basket at the 7:sixteen mark of the first quarter on a driving layup.

It quickly grew to become obvious, however, that the Thunder must readjust to having Westbrook within the lineup. Oklahoma City struggled with its taking pictures in the first half, going sixteen of 40 (forty %) and permitting the Suns to guide forty five-44 at halftime.

Frye scored 19 points and Goran Drajic had 10 for the Suns on 5-of-9 capturing earlier than leaving the sport with a sprained left ankle at the 10:08 mark of the third quarter.

Game notes

Hornacek said the ankle Drajic injured is one “that’s been bothering him before so hopefully he is not out too lengthy.” He didn’t say if Drajic would possibly miss any video games Despite the closeness of the game, Brooks played 11 of the 13 players who suited up and all for at least eight:47. It was evident that rookie

Steven Adams

is now the backup center, having supplanted

Hasheem Thabeet

, one of the two gamers who didn’t see action The sellout was the 89th straight throughout the regular season at Chesapeake Vitality Enviornment.

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