Thunder-Lakers: Inspirational night
Phil Jackson sat down at the post-game press conference and used the word “inspired” or “inspirational” twice in his first three sentences of addressing the game. The Thunder beat the Lakers 101-96 in an historic Game 3 at the Ford Center, the first NBA playoff game in Oklahoma City history.
It was indeed a wild night. Playoff debut. Lakers. David Stern in the house. A coach of the year award to hand out (to Scott Brooks). Just an amazing confluence of events provided one of the most spectacular nights in Oklahoma City history.
A guy sent me an email, noting that the game fell on 89er Day. “Oklahoma City was born 121 years ago today. This was the best day since.”
The truth is, the Thunder crowds, while outstanding in attendance and close to the league’s best in volume, hasn’t matched the frenzy of that first-year Hornet crowds four years ago. But Thursday night surpassed anything anyone had ever seen.
“One of the loudest crowds I have ever played in front of in the postseason,” said the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant. “At the end of that the quarter, it was like the barn in Sacramento. It was really loud.”
Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he thought the frenzy might have contributed negatively to the slow start. The Thunder missed six of its first seven shots while the Lakers started 7-of-7. It was 15-3, and the air was gone out of the balloon.
But the Thunder brought the crowd back with periodic outbursts, and when the Boomers finally caught up, the genie was out of the bottle and the crowd was going nuts.
With the Thunder up 88-82, coming out of a timeout, the five Laker starters left the bench area to take the court but made a pitstop and formed a circle, arms around each other. Seemed like a bid to get some inspiration of their own, but instead the Lakers were turned into huddle masses. Like a bunker huddle was all that could keep the ravaging hordes away.
Kobe missed a shot out of that timeout, Kevin Durant hit another jumper, and the Lakers played catchup the rest of the way. LA made four straight shots down the stretch, including 3-pointers by Derek Fisher and Ron Artest, but still trailed 96-92 with a 1:30 left, a margin that gave the Thunder enough breathing room to win with foul shots.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 35743Oklahoma weather: Crews work to clear storm damage in Oklahoma City as the state braces for severe weather Sunday.
- 30080Oklahoma Severe Storm Updates
- 9255Tornado levels homes in trailer park
- 7252Wild hogs continue to be a growing menace across Oklahoma
- 6705OKC Thunder GM Sam Presti won't amnesty Kendrick Perkins
- 3930Student shot dead during botched home invasion
- 3921OKC Thunder: Thunder trio praise fans before potential departures
- 3685College football: Coaches, athletes weigh in on NCAA's suspended recruiting proposals
- 3424Oklahoma State football: Todd Monken thinks Wes Lunt should've stayed in Stillwater
- 3280Brittney Griner: Kim Mulkey said keep quiet on sexuality
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients