Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka was supposed to be out for the rest of the 2014 NBA playoffs. Yet, he’s back, and played well in Game 3, helping OKC grab a win. After the game, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich cracked a good joke, which you can listen to here:
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The Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs Sunday night in OKC. The Spurs still lead the Western Conference Finals 2-1, but the with the return of Serge Ibaka, a shakeup in the backcourt, and a much-needed win, the Thunder have to feel better about the series. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on a change at the shooting guard spot:
Serge Ibaka was back, which meant Serge Ibaka was starting. That was a no-brainer for Scott Brooks.
But there were two changes to Brooks’ starting lineup before Sunday night’s 106-97 momentum-shifting win for the Thunder — the second not as loud or heroic but nearly as impactful as Ibaka’s triumphant return.
For the first time in his career, Reggie Jackson started alongside Russell Westbrook. He replaced the previously ineffective Thabo Sefolosha and injected some needed offensive punch into the lineup, playing a game-high 37 minutes and scoring 15 points — six more than three OKC starters combined for in the first two games.
The following statement was issued today by Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti regarding the status of Serge Ibaka’s left calf injury:
“The abundance of blood and therefore swelling in Serge’s calf has reduced substantially and unexpectedly, allowing a level of movement and stability not thought possible after the initial diagnosis. Based on both imaging and physical exam, the considerable swelling in the calf indicated the likelihood of a certain degree of injury, and that established the original time frame for recovery.
At present, Serge has yet to complete a full basketball workout, but is walking and doing light basketball drills. With this new information, and in an effort to keep his status current, we are now listing him as day-to-day with the understanding that there is a possibility for him to play in this series.”
Wednesday in San Antonio, the Spurs easily beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 112-77 to take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference Finals series. Here are video highlights of the game’s top plays:
Thursday night in Los Angeles, The Oklahoma City Thunder eliminated the Clippers in the sixth game of their second-round NBA playoff series. Kevin Durant shot 12-of-23 for 39 points and 16 rebounds in the win. Enjoy these video highlights of Durant doing his thing:
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka underwent an MRI today that confirmed he suffered a left calf injury during the third quarter of last night’s contest against the Los Angeles Clippers, the team announced. Ibaka is expected to miss the remainder of the 2014 postseason.
This is a huge blow to OKC. Ibaka provides toughness, defense, and on offense he is able to stretch the floor thanks to solid range on his jumpshot. The San Antonio Spurs, who will face the Thunder in the 2014 Western Conference Finals with Game 1 Monday night, caught a break here. Though they still face a very tough opponent who certainly can still win.
Ibaka is averaging 12.2 points on 69-of-112 (.616) shooting from the field, 7.3 rebounds and 2.23 blocks in 13 postseason games. During the 2013-14 regular season, Ibaka notched career-highs with 15.1 points and 8.8 rebounds, while leading the league in total blocks for the fourth consecutive season with 219 blocked shots.
“We are obviously disappointed for Serge, as he is a tremendous competitor, and we know how badly he wants to be on the court with his teammates,” said Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. “At this point it is important that our team directs its concentration and energy towards preparation and execution for our upcoming series. As with all teams, our group has confronted different challenges. It is our collective experience that we will call on to ensure that we play to our capabilities.”
Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder is the winner of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the 2013-14 NBA Most Valuable Player, the NBA announced today. It is the first MVP award for Durant, who captured his fourth scoring title in five seasons, joining Wilt Chamberlain, George Gervin and Michael Jordan as the only players to accomplish this feat. Despite teammate Russell Westbrook appearing in only 46 games, Durant guided the Thunder to the NBA’s second-best record at 59-23.
Durant totaled 1,232 points, including 119 first-place votes, from a panel of 124 voters that consisted of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada as well as an NBA.com MVP fan vote, making for 125 total ballots. For the fifth consecutive season, the NBA gave fans the opportunity to submit their votes by ranking their top five choices through a dedicated Web page on NBA.com. The fan vote counted as one vote and was compiled with the 124 media votes to determine the winner. Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five for each third-place vote, three for each fourth-place vote and one for each fifth-place vote received.
Rounding out the top five in voting are Miami’s LeBron James (891 points, six first-place votes), the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin (434 points), the Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah (322 points), and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (85 points).
Durant averaged a career-best 32.0 points to go with 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists, also a career high. In capturing his fourth scoring title, he joined Jordan (10), Chamberlain (seven), Gervin (four), and Allen Iverson (four) as the only players in league annals to win at least four scoring titles. He shot .503 from the field, .391 from three-point range, and .873 from the free throw line, leading all players in free throws made (703) and attempted (805). Durant authored two 50-point games, topped the 40-point mark on 14 occasions, and turned in 17 games with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds.
Durant’s consistency was highlighted by his streak of 41 consecutive games scoring at least 25 points, which ran from Jan. 7 through April 6, and was the longest streak since Michael Jordan did it in 40 straight games during the 1986-87 season. It’s the third-longest streak (single season) in NBA history, behind Wilt Chamberlain, who did it in all 80 games during the 1961-62 season, and Oscar Robertson, who went for 25-plus in 46 straight games during the 1963-64 season. Chamberlain did it for 106 straight games over the course of the 1961-62 and 1962-63 seasons.
The winner of four NBA Player of the Month honors in 2013-14 (October-November, December, January and March), Durant was also named Player of the Week six times (Dec. 2, Dec. 30, Jan. 20, Jan. 27, Feb. 10 and March 24).
The NBA MVP trophy is named in honor of the late Maurice Podoloff, the first commissioner of the NBA who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963.
Here’s the Los Angeles Times on Clippers point guard CP3 and the great things he did last night:
Tired from a grueling seven-game first-round playoff series?
Not Chris Paul and the Clippers.
Exhausted from the dark cloud that enveloped them at every turn?
Not Paul and the Clippers.
Paul orchestrated an impressive show of force Monday night that carried the Clippers to 122-105 demolition of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of a Western Conference second-round playoff series.
His 32 points in only 27 minutes 44 seconds propelled the Clippers to a resounding win in the opener of the best-of-seven series at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Even more impressive was his shooting. Paul made his first eight three-point attempts and finished eight for nine, and hit 12 for 14 shots overall as the Clippers snatched the home-court advantage away from the Thunder.
Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph has been suspended one game without pay for punching Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams in the jaw, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.
The incident occurred with 6:42 remaining in the fourth quarter of Memphis’ 104-84 loss to the Thunder on Thursday, May 1, at FedEx Forum.
Randolph will serve his suspension on Saturday, May 3, when the Grizzlies visit the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena for Game 7 of their first round NBA playoff series.
To view the play, click on this link.
Here’s ESPN.com reporting on some drama in Oklahoma City:
A headline in The Oklahoman focusing on Kevin Durant’s struggles in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s series with the Memphis Grizzlies has caused a distraction before the team faces an elimination game Thursday night.
The headline, which read “Mr. Unreliable,” in part referred to Durant’s recent slump, which has him shooting just 40 percent in the series and 15-of-45 over the past two games. The headline generated strong reaction and led Oklahoman sports editor Mike Sherman to issue an apology, saying in a statement the “words were overstated and unduly harsh.”
He clarified that the headline was focused on Durant’s play against Memphis, rather than the NBA scoring champion’s body of work.
“I’m unreliable? Me, Mr. Unreliable?” Durant said Thursday morning.
On Tuesday, the Grizzlies beat the Thunder 100-99 in overtime to take a 3-2 lead in their first round playoff series. Here are some video highlights of Russell Westbrook and Mike Miller:
Watch this ridiculous, clutch, four-point play that Kevin Durant got for the Thunder against the Grizzlies in their first-round NBA playoff series. Memphis wound up winning the game in overtime, but check the video footage:
Tulsa businessman George B. Kaiser has been approved by the NBA Board of Governors as a new partner in The Professional Basketball Club, LLC, which owns the Oklahoma City Thunder. Thunder Chairman and CEO Clayton I. Bennett made the announcement today. Kaiser is purchasing the ownership interest of Tom L. Ward.
“We are honored to welcome George Kaiser as a member of the ownership group of the Oklahoma City Thunder,” Bennett said. “George is a well-respected and important Oklahoma business leader, as well as one of the state and nation’s top philanthropists. His commitment to successful business and community leadership is in true alignment with that of the Thunder.
“I also appreciate the commitment and leadership provided by Tom Ward as a member of our ownership group from the beginning,” Bennett added.
“I am pleased to join the Thunder ownership group,” Kaiser said. “I appreciate what Tom, Clay and the other owners have done to make Oklahoma City a big-league city and look forward to joining the continuing effort to gain positive recognition for our state.”
“I am very pleased to have been a part of the group that brought the Thunder to Oklahoma City, ” Ward said. “The team has generated tremendous excitement in our city and state. This transaction allows me to have greater focus on the things that I know and care about the most, which include launching new Oklahoma-based energy companies and supporting charitable organizations that demonstrate compassion to those in need.”
Kaiser is president, CEO and primary owner of GBK Corporation, parent of Kaiser-Francis Oil Company, which he has managed for 40 years. He is chairman of the board and majority shareholder of BOK Financial Corporation and a major shareholder in several energy, oil and gas, mining and technology companies.
Kaiser has been engaged in numerous civic activities, including working with others to establish both the Tulsa Community Foundation and Tulsa Educare. He founded the George Kaiser Family Foundation, dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty through investments in early childhood education, community health, social services and civic enhancements.
In addition, through a transaction approved by the NBA Board of Governors on Friday, Clayton I. Bennett, Chairman and CEO of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Chairman of Dorchester Capital; Aubrey K. McClendon, Chairman and CEO of American Energy Partners; William M. Cameron, Chairman and CEO of American Fidelity Assurance Company; and Jay Scaramucci, President of Balon Corporation, have each purchased ownership interests from G. Jeffrey Records, Jr., CEO of MidFirst Bank. Records remains a significant owner of the team and MidFirst remains a major sponsor.
The ownership interests of Everett R. Dobson, Managing Partner of Dobson Partnerships; and Robert E. Howard II, Chairman of Howard Investments, did not change.
On Wednesday, the Oklahoma City Thunder visited Los Angeles and beat the Clippers 107-101. Russell Westbrook put up 30 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and two steals in the win. Here’s a video dunk highlight mix:
Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on Thunder star Kevin Durant, who is averaging 32.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.3 steals per game on 50.7% shooting this season. And he has an amazing scoring streak that just won’t stop:
Kevin Durant didn’t just downplay his 25-point scoring streak after moving past Michael Jordan for sole possession of third place on the all-time list.
He flat out dismissed it.
“I don’t really care about it,” Durant said after his 38 points and 11 rebounds Sunday at Phoenix. “I wish it was over.”
Durant has scored at least 25 points in 41 consecutive games. Wilt Chamberlain owns the single-season record at 80 games in the 1961-62 season. Oscar Robertson is second with 46 straight 25-point nights in the 1963-64 season.
Durant might wish the streak was over — if you’re buying that— but opponents could have a tougher time than you might think in stopping it.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed forward Grant Jerrett to a contract, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.
Jerrett (6-10, 232) joins the Thunder after spending the past season with the Tulsa 66ers where he appeared in 27 games (25 starts) and averaged 15.1 points and 6.1 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per game.
The Thunder secured the rights to Jerrett on draft night after he was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 40th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
The University of Arizona product spent one collegiate season with the Wildcats before entering the NBA Draft.
Jerrett’s signing represents the ninth call-up all-time between the 66ers and the Thunder.
The Thunder roster now stands at 15.
Thursday in Oklahoma City the Thunder beat the Spurs 106-94, ending San Antonio’s 19-game winning streak. Kevin Durant scored 28 points in the win, while Russell Westbrook had 27. Here are some video highlights:
The drama was sapped early from Oklahoma City’s blowout win over Utah, except for one detail.
Thunder forward Kevin Durant is nearing Michael Jordan’s mark for consecutive games with at least 25 points.
With the crowd buzzing late in the third quarter, Durant reached the mark for the 38th consecutive time, leaving him two games short of Jordan’s accomplishment, which is the most in the past 50 years.
He finished with 31 points and nine assists to help Oklahoma City defeat the Jazz 116-96 on Sunday afternoon.
Jordan did it for 40 straight games for the Chicago Bulls during the 1986-87 season. Durant is aware of the mark, but the NBA’s leading scorer left worrying about it to the crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
– Associated Press
The Oklahoma City Thunder has signed forward Reggie Williams to a 10-day contract, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.
Earlier this season, Williams appeared in one game for the Thunder where he scored five points in five minutes after being signed to a 10-day contract on March 6.
In 25 games this season with the Tulsa 66ers, Williams averaged 20.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.56 steals in 38.0 minutes per game.
Williams has appeared in 178 NBA games (32 starts) and recorded career averages of 8.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 19.9 minutes per game as a member of the Warriors, Bobcats and Thunder.
The signing of Williams represents the 39th D-League Gatorade Call-Up this season and the eighth Call-Up all-time between the 66ers and the Thunder.
Williams is expected to join the Thunder prior to tonight’s game versus the Sacramento Kings.
The Thunder roster now stands at 15.
The Brooklyn Nets’ Joe Johnson and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, March 17, through Sunday, March 23.
Johnson led the Nets to a 4-0 week, which included wins over the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks. He averaged 22.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists. Johnson connected on 14-of-24 (.583) three-point field goals on the week, including a 6-of-8 performance from distance en route to 27 points on March 21, during a 114-98 win over the Boston Celtics.
Durant led the Thunder to a 3-0 week, tallying 35 points or more in all three contests. He averaged a league-best 40.3 ppg and added 11.7 rebounds (fourth in the conference) and 6.0 assists (tied-10th in the conference). Durant closed the week with a 51-point, 12-rebound, seven-assist effort on March 21, as the Thunder topped the Toronto Raptors 119-118 in double overtime.
Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Paul Millsap, Houston’s James Harden, Memphis’ Zach Randolph, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, New York’s Carmelo Anthony, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, San Antonio’s Tiago Splitter and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan.