With 2:50 remaining in the third quarter Wednesday night, Thunder fans no longer could contain their frustration. So they did the unthinkable. They booed.
For two full seasons while hosting the displaced Hornets, local NBA fans never booed the home team. With the Los Angeles Clippers in the midst of a 42-12 run that required less than 12 minutes, Thunder fans broke their silence when coach P.J. Carlesimo called for a timeout. There were more groans than boos, but undeniably, there were boos. Philly fans boo Santa Claus, but Oklahoma City pro basketball fans don’t boo anything that’s theirs. Until Wednesday. The Clippers went on to post a 108-88 victory before a crowd of 18,312 at the Ford Center, handing the 1-11 Thunder its ninth straight loss. Upon his arrival in Oklahoma City, Carlesimo was told of the city’s boo-free zone. Carlesimo said he hoped the trend continued but would understand if Thunder fans booed when his team’s play warranted it. Against the Clippers, it was warranted. The Thunder led by 15 points with 2½-minutes left in the second quarter, and trailed by 15 with 2:50 left in the third. Afterward, Carlesimo tried to respond to questions that have no good answers. "Nobody feels worse than all our people," Carlesimo said. Not even the most prolific get-well card in NBA history could cure what ails the Thunder. The Clippers entered the game with a 1-9 record, though they’re much better than that with a roster consisting of Baron Davis, Marcus Camby, Cuttino Mobley and Chris Kaman. Before Wednesday’s game, Carlesimo wished the Clippers would struggle for at least one more contest, and they obliged at first.