Posted November 02, 2012 on AP on Fox
Circumstances have changed for the Oklahoma City Thunder since they last played a meaningful home game. The Thunder have won their last three home openers heading into Friday night's matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers. The last time Oklahoma City was preparing to play at home, it was Game 2 of the NBA Finals against Miami after the Thunder took the opener. The Heat, of course, won that contest and the next three at home to earn the title. The Thunder are still considered among the league's top contenders, but it's not clear yet how last week's trade of reigning Sixth Man of the Year James Harden to Houston will affect their chemistry. Kevin Martin, acquired in that deal, has filled Harden's role as Oklahoma City's top reserve. "Even though they lost James Harden, Kevin Martin is a quality scorer off the bench," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. Oklahoma City opened its season Thursday with an 86-84 loss at San Antonio in a rematch of the Western Conference finals. Martin scored 15 points in his Thunder debut. "I thought K-Mart did a great job," coach Scott Brooks said. Oklahoma City shot 37.7 percent in a game that featured 15 lead changes. Reigning scoring champion Kevin Durant had a game-high 23 points while Russell Westbrook finished with 18 points, eight rebounds, five assists and six turnovers. "That was a great first game, it's the way to open up the season," Brooks said. "I wish we had won the game but there's nothing to be ashamed of. I told the guys, 'Let's go back tomorrow night and play with the same type of force and intensity and toughness.'" Westbrook will match up with Portland's Damian Lillard, the sixth overall pick in the draft. Lillard had 22 points and 11 assists in his NBA debut Wednesday in Portland's season-opening 116-106 victory over the Lakers. Lillard joined Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson and Isiah Thomas as the only players with at least 20 points and 10 assists in their debuts. Now he'll get his first look at the two-time All-Star Westbrook, who averaged 27.5 points, 7.3 assists and 8.8 boards as the Thunder took three of four from the Trail Blazers last season. "He's going to be tough, he's a really explosive athlete, a really aggressive player looking to score the ball," said Lillard, who also had six turnovers Wednesday. "It'll be a challenge just like every other night." Nicolas Batum had 26 points as all five starters scored in double figures and Wesley Matthews added 22 for Portland, which scored 28 points off 24 turnovers by the Lakers and now faces a Thunder team that was last in the league in that department with 16.3 per game in 2011-12. The Trail Blazers are beginning a three-game trip over four nights after going 8-25 on the road last season for the league's fourth-worst mark. "I'm looking forward to it," Lillard said. "In college you play one or two games a week so you got a lot of practice in between. At the end of the day, we all just wanna hoop, we wanna play." Durant's 23.8 career average against Portland is his second-worst against a Western Conference opponent.

Thunder players star in hilarious car dealer ad

Here is Reggie Jackson, Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison, Thabo Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins of the Oklahoma City Thunder starring in one of those local television spots that turn out to be unintentional comedic gold.  Usually it’s because these low budget ads are so terribly cheesy that they’re funny, but this one turned out to be quite good not because of the the horrific singing...

Thunder will be fine without Harden

OKLAHOMA CITY James Harden went off again. Yeah, him. Somehow, I get the feeling people around these parts are going to be talking about Harden this season. A lot. Forget the first-guessing, that's too difficult. It's all second-guessing now. It's a full-blown case of, "Should they or shouldn't they have traded Harden," and it's infected everyone...

Does one guy make the difference for OKC?

The Oklahoma City Thunder got its first taste Thursday night of life without James Harden, part of a buzzer-beating 86-84 loss that should drive home the obvious and its consequences: A new era in Thunder basketball has begun, and that's one of several reasons the Western Conference is now up for grabs. We're just a few games into the season, yes, but Oklahoma City's...

Ibaka Be Blocka…But What Else?

In the preseason, people were asking me if they should take Serge Ibaka in the third round or the fourth round, as if those were the only two options. Sure, he’s great with the blockin’ and all, but I do not consider him a well rounded Center. Last night’s game is about what I expected, although with more rebounds and less blocks: 4 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks. His value...

Eric Maynor hits 3/4-court buzzer beater

The Oklahoma City Thunder were trailing by as many as 10 points, when they went on a little run against the San Antonio Spurs. Down by two points with 1.7 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Thunder player, Eric Maynor, tosses up a three-quarter court shot to tie the game going into the 4th quarter. [...]The post Eric Maynor’s Three-Quarter Court Buzzer-Beater (Video) appeared...

2012-2013 NBA Regular Season: Tim Duncan Dunks On Serge Ibaka

The Wandering Beard

As Thunder GM Sam Presti was watching his former sixth man run circles around the Pistons, I suspect he had a moment of recoil. At least he should have.

Kendrick Perkins Gives Blake Griffin Commercial Competition – VIDEO

Game 2: Trail Blazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder prediction and preview

First road challenge The Portland Trail Blazers started their season off on the right foot with a 116-106 victory against the Los Angeles Lakers, but now it’s time to take their act on the road against the defending Western Conference champions, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Matchup: Portland (1-0) @ Oklahoma City (0-1) Venue: Chesapeake Energy Arena Time: 5:00 PM PT Date: November...

Tim Duncan Dunks on Serge Ibaka

Get banged on...

Shootaround: Thunder's journey begins

Oklahoma City Thunder (0-0) vs.San Antonio Spurs (1-0) 9:30 p.m./TNT The Thunder kick off their Western Conference title defense against the team they needed to dethrone to get to the Finals for the first time since 1996 (or ever, depending on whose history you choose to believe). Oklahoma City may have lost James Harden, but this is largely the same team that took four straight...

Hawks-Thunder Preview

While the most recent addition to the Oklahoma City Thunder likely won't hinder the team's chemistry, it might take some time for the Atlanta Hawks and their new faces to come together. The Thunder look to build on their first win when they host the Hawks on Sunday night. Russell Westbrook scored 32, Kevin Durant had 23 points with 17 rebounds and veteran newcomer Kevin...

Tim Duncan Dunks On Serge Ibaka (Video)

Some would say that Tim Duncan was never a theatrical Wham-Bam-Thank-You-Maam dunker, but the advanced aged San Antionio Spurs star shows younger Oklahoma City Thunder player, Serge Ibaka, that he still has moves on Thursday night.The post Tim Duncan Dunks On Serge Ibaka (Video) appeared first on The NBA Mistress.

Two Fascinating PG’s

I think we all saw what happened last night. The Spurs defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder on a game winning shot by Tony Parker. Game over. Everybody on Oklahoma City played terribly and Scott Brooks drew up one of the worst final plays I’ve ever seen. Everybody just kind of stood around and waited for [...]
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