Tagged in: Oklahoma City Thunder

LaVine scores 40 as Bulls beat Thunder 123-102

Zach LaVine scored 40 points on 15-for-20 shooting, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 123-102 on Tuesday night for their second consecutive win.

LaVine led the way as Chicago shot 51% (48 for 94) from the field. The All-Star guard was 7 for 12 from 3-point range.

Lauri Markkanen had 22 points for the Bulls, and Thaddeus Young added 17 points and nine rebounds. Tomas Satoransky concluded with 13 points and seven assists.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 21 points for Oklahoma City, which had won three of four. Moses Brown had 20 points and 16 rebounds, and Kenrich Williams scored 14.

Lu Dort (toe) and Al Horford (rest) were unavailable. Horford was rested for consecutive matches for this first time this campaign.

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LaVine made his first five shots — including four 3-pointers — as Chicago raced to a 42-28 lead after one quarter.

But the Thunder stormed back with a 15-0 run and took a 50-49 lead with 6:32 left in the half on William’s 3-pointer from the corner.

LaVine returned to the lineup and Chicago got back on track offensively, outscoring Oklahoma City 21-14 heading into the intermission.

LaVine stayed hot early in the third quarter, sinking his first three shots on layups. Chicago outscored Oklahoma City 31-16 in the third to up its lead to 102-79.

The match featured two of the youngest players in the NBA. Oklahoma City’s Aleksaj Pokusevski (19 years, 3 months) and Chicago’s Patrick Williams (19 years, 7 months) both started.

Pokusevski and Williams both had 23 points in their previous games. But they struggled in this one. Pokusevski finished with four points on 2-for-9 shooting. Williams had just two points, going 1 for 9 from the floor.

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Phoenix Suns complete trade to acquire Chris Paul from Oklahoma City Thunder

The Phoenix Suns on Monday obtained All-Star guard Chris Paul in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In return for Paul and forward Abdel Nader, the Thunder received Kelly Oubre Jr., Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a 2022 first-round pick from the Suns.

Suns owner Robert Sarver is bringing the future Hall of Fame guard and franchise leader to Phoenix, delivering star Devin Booker a running mate. After ending last season by going 8-0 in the bubble and establishing momentum, the Suns are set to become a factor in the Western Conference this campaign.

“We are excited to welcome Chris Paul and Abdel Nader to Phoenix,” Suns general manager James Jones said in a statement. “Chris’ leadership and competitive approach to the game will have an immeasurable impact on our team. Abdel possesses all the traits on and off the court that will complement our culture.”

Paul, 35, reunites with Suns coach Monty Williams, who coached the point guard for one season (2010-11) in New Orleans. The team went 46-36 that season and lost in the first round of the playoffs.

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“His basketball mind,” Paul said of Williams in December, “I used to get so excited before games about the plays he was drawing up.”

Paul was acquired by the Thunder from the Houston Rockets last summer in exchange for Russell Westbrook, two future first-round picks and two pick swaps. Adding another future first-rounder increases the haul for Westbrook to three firsts, plus the pick swaps (along with one successful year with Paul).

Paul had a resurgent season with Oklahoma City, reclaiming his reputation as the “Point God,” as he took command of OKC’s young roster to lead it to a surprising playoff berth. Paul made the All-Star Game for the first time since 2016 and was named to an All-NBA team (second) for the first time since 2016.

He has been plagued by injuries at various times during his career, but Paul had one of his most complete and durable seasons with the Thunder, missing only one match because he was mourning the loss of close friend Kobe Bryant.

In 70 games, Paul averaged 17.6 points, 6.7 assists and 5.0 rebounds. He also led the league in clutch-time scoring, spearheading the Thunder in close games, which is what propelled them to the 5-seed in the West.

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Golden State Warriors vs Oklahoma City Thunder

Golden State Warriors vs Oklahoma City Thunder

What: Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, Western Conference semifinals Game 4 | Thunder lead series 2-1
When: 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET, Tuesday, May 24
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City

The Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder meet Tuesday night for game four at the Chesapeake Energy Arena

At every turn, teams at this stage of the Playoffs try to use every possible mental and physical edge to their advantage. For the Thunder to take a 3-1 series lead over the Golden State Warriors in these Western Conference Finals on Tuesday night, its mental edge will be aided most by having blinders on – to focus in on the task at hand and ignore the noise surrounding Game 4.

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The Golden State Warriors need a win here to have any real chance of winning this series. The Golden State Warriors are averaging 112.9 points on 47.3 percent shooting and allowing 104.5 points on 41.9 percent shooting. Klay Thompson is averaging 25.4 points and 3.7 rebounds while Stephen Curry is averaging 25.3 points and 5.6 assists. Draymond Green is grabbing 9.3 rebounds and Shaun Livingston is dishing 4.1 assists. The Golden State Warriors are shooting 39.9 percent from beyond the arc and 73.4 percent from the free throw line. The Warriors are allowing 35.4 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 44.8 rebounds per game. The Golden State Warriors have won 10 of their last 15 road games.

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The Oklahoma City Thunder can get one game away from making their second NBA Finals appearance. The Oklahoma City Thunder are averaging 106.9 points on 46.3 percent shooting and allowing 100.1 points on 45 percent shooting. Kevin Durant is averaging 27.8 points and 6.9 rebounds while Russell Westbrook is averaging 25.3 points and 11.1 assists. Serge Ibaka is grabbing 6.1 rebounds and Dion Waiters is dishing 2.3 assists. The Oklahoma City Thunder are shooting 34.2 percent from beyond the arc and 79.4 percent from the free throw line. The Thunder are allowing 35.1 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 46.3 rebounds per game. The Oklahoma City Thunder have won 11 of their last 13 home games.

Previously: Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 63 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 133-105 rout of the Golden State Warriors to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference finals.

The Thunder poured in a postseason-high 72 points by halftime and added another 45 in the third quarter, leading by as much as 41 points in a dominating Game 3 win Sunday.

Stephen Curry scored 24 points and Klay Thompson had 18 for the Warriors, who shot just 41 percent (38 of 92) from the floor and 30 percent from three-point range (10 of 33).

Draymond Green, who finished with just six points, earned a flagrant 1 for a controversial kick below the belt of Thunder big man Steven Adams late in the second quarter. The NBA later upgraded the foul to a flagrant 2 and levied a $25,000 fine but did not suspend Green for Tuesday’s game. 


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Oklahoma City Thunder vs Golden State Warriors

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Golden State Warriors

Oklahoma City Thunder (64-30) at Golden State Warriors (81-12)
NBA Basketball: Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 9:00 pm (Oracle Arena)

The Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder do battle in Game 2 at the Oracle Arena on Wednesday night.

The Golden State Warriors lost only once at home before Monday’s 108-102 setback against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

The defending NBA champion Warriors now hope to bounce back from that surprising defeat as 8.5-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark for Game 2 on Wednesday versus the Thunder.

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Game 1:

After a bad first half, Russell Westbrook scored 19 of his 27 points in the third quarter as Oklahoma City rallied to beat the Warriors 108-102. It marked the first time in the Steve Kerr Era that the Warriors have lost Game 1 of a playoff series. The Warriors led 60-47 at halftime, but lost their offensive rhythm as Westbrook heated up. Stephen Curry had 26 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, but also had seven of the Warriors’ 14 turnovers. Kevin Durant scored 26.

The Thunder will be absolutely delighted with their 108-102 Game 1 win against the Warriors on Monday night. It was a rough shooting night for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook as they combined to shoot 17 of 51 from the field, but the Thunder showed great toughness to hang around even when their superstars were misfiring in the second half. In fact, the rest of the Thunder team combined to shoot a healthy 57.9 percent from the field with Steven Adams leading the supporting cast with 16 points which really allowed the Thunder to hang around despite turning the ball over nine times in the first half which put them into a 13-point deficit going into halftime. Westbrook came to the party in the third quarter and erupted for 19 points to finish with 27 points, 12 rebounds and seven steals for the game while Kevin Durant was right behind him with 26 points and 10 rebounds of his own.

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As for the Warriors, Stephen Curry led the team with 26 points,  a playoff career-high 10 rebounds and seven assists but he had seven turnovers, while Klay Thompson and Draymond Green added 25 and 23 points respectively, but it still wasn’t enough as the Warriors went absolutely ice-cold in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter where the Warriors connected on just one of 10 three-point attempts. Credit some of those misses to great defense from the Thunder, but the Warriors really lost their composure and just missed a lot of open shots that they usually make.

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