With 30 seconds left, the noise level, long past loud, also left roar in its wake. Jet engines just wish they could crescendo like this.
The NBA Finals are coming to Oklahoma City, and Chesapeake Energy Arena, which has busted its share of eardrums, thundered.
Down 2-0 in the series, down 18 points in the first quarter, down 15 points at halftime, the Thunder continued to write a remarkable story. The Thunder rallied to beat the San Antonio Spurs 107-99 Wednesday night to win the Western Conference Finals.
A city that seven years ago didn't even have a pipedream of being an NBA port now is on the league's grandest stage.
With streamers falling and the crowd still yelling, Thunder chairman Clay Bennett told the fans and a national television audience, “All I can think of is how this incredible group of young men has unified this city and this state.”
And even the Spurs took notice.
The Spurs' Gregg Popovich, with four championships one of the most successful coaches in NBA history, didn't lament missed opportunity. He lauded what the Thunder has done in four short seasons in OKC.
“Great, great stuff,” Popovich said. “As sad and disappointed as we are, you really have to think about it's almost like a Hollywood script for OKC in a sense.”
The Thunder, which arrived from Seattle in July 2008 and got off to a 3-29 start that ensuing season, now not only will play in the NBA Finals, but will have homecourt advantage. The Thunder hosts the Boston Celtics or the Miami Heat in Game 1 Tuesday night.