Berry Tramel

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Oklahoma City Thunder: Great night in Oakland

by Berry Tramel Modified: April 12, 2013 at 3:10 pm •  Published: April 12, 2013

Wow. Excellent victory in Oakland on Thursday night. A 116-97 rout of the Warriors, who are trying to secure the sixth seed in the West. That’s two nights after a methodical 90-80 victory at Utah. Good sign that the Thunder is playing well as the regular season finish line nears:

* The Thunder now is 25-15 on the road, so OKC will finish either 26-15 or 25-16 in road games. That’s guaranteed to be the NBA’s second-best road record. Miami is 28-12.

Here are the best road records in the NBA: Miami 28-12, OKC 25-15, San Antonio 23-16, Memphis 22-17, Brooklyn 22-17, New York 22-17, Clippers 21-17, Chicago 20-18, Indiana 19-20, Atlanta 19-21, Denver 18-21, Golden State 18-21.

Still excited about the Nuggets in the playoffs?

* Hard to lose when you have three players with double-digit scoring quarters. The Thunder didn’t achieve that rarity but came close — Serge Ibaka had 13 points in the first quarter, Kevin Durant had 14 points in the third quarter and Kevin Martin had eight points in 81/2 minutes of the second quarter.

* Kevin Durant’s 50-40-90 quest seems secure. Durant now is shooting 50.8 percent from the field, 41.5 percent from 3-point range and 90.7 percent from the foul line. To fall below the 50-40-90 threshold, Durant would have to miss 23 straight shots, 13 straight 3-pointers and six straight foul shots.

* When the Thunder is on both TNT or ESPN and Fox Sports Oklahoma, I always watch the national broadcast, just to get a feel for what the network guys are saying about the Thunder. But my TNT feed was jumping around a little, so I bailed and watched the local guys. Apparently it was a good move.

TNT was experimenting with no play-by-play announcer — analysts Chris Webber, Reggie Miller and Steve Kerr shared the microphones in the Thunder-Warriors game. My sports editor, Mike Sherman, said it was a disaster. “Everyone sounds bored,” the Boss said.

Maybe everyone was bored.

* Serge Ibaka in the last seven games: 13.6 points per game on 42-of-67 shooting, which is  62.7 percent; with 8.1 rebounds and 4.3 blocks. This guy is a heck of a ballplayer.

* According to basketball-reference.com, the Thunder’s chances of securing the top seed in the West has risen to 69 percent. Which makes the likelihood of a Thunder-Laker series 55.4 percent. Get ready, folks. The circus is coming to town.

* Thabo Sefolosha went three straight games in late March without hitting a 3-pointer. In the eight games since, Thabo is 16 of 30 on 3-pointers. He’s shooting with confidence. And he’s shooting more often. Last season, Thabo shot well — 43.7 percent — but fired only 71 shots in 42 games. This season, Thabo is making 41.9 percent of his 3-pointers, still solid, but has fired up 246 in 78 games. That’s 3.15 per game. The Thunder is a different team when Thabo is an offensive threat.

* The NBA has 38 players with at least 1.0 blocked shots per game. The Thunder has three: Ibaka 3.1, Durant 1.3 and Kendrick Perkins 1.1. The Thunder blocked 10 shots against the Warriors.

 

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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