Share “‘Magic numbers' tell the tale of OKC...”

‘Magic numbers' tell the tale of OKC Thunder's playoff hopes

BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, Published: March 22, 2011

All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are familiar with the term "magic number," but they have no idea what that number is at the moment for the Thunder.

"I was waiting for you all to tell me," a smiling Durant said to reporters after Tuesday's practice.

To clinch a playoff spot, the Thunder's magic number was five against Phoenix, which had a late game Tuesday at the Los Angeles Lakers.

To clinch the Northwest Division crown, the Thunder's magic number was nine against Denver.

"I don't even know how that stuff goes," Westbrook said. "I just know if you continue to win, it's good."

The Thunder plays Utah at 7 p.m. Wednesday inside Oklahoma City Arena and with a victory officially would eliminate the Jazz as a potential threat for a playoff spot or winning the Northwest Division crown.

A magic number indicates how close a team is to clinching a playoff spot or regular-season title. It represents the total number of wins for the front-running team, losses by the opposing team in question or a combination of both.

Here is the magic number formula: Total games + 1 – wins by Team A – losses by Team B.

The plus 1 added to the number of games eliminates potential ties.

The number of regular-season NBA games is 82 (+1). Team A is the Thunder, which has a 45-24 record. Team B would be the team the Thunder is trying to beat out.

Continue reading this story on the...


To win the Northwest Division:

9 – Denver Nuggets (42-29)

8 – Portland Trail Blazers (40-30)

3 – Utah Jazz (36-35)

To clinch a playoff spot:

5 – Phoenix Suns (35-33)

4 – Houston Rockets (37-34)

3 – Utah Jazz (36-35)

Note: Does not include Tuesday's results


  1. 1
    Former OSU student convicted of manslaughter in 2009 fatal car crash released on bail; attorney...
  2. 2
    Police find dead body in porta-potty outside Cincinnati Bengals' Paul Brown Stadium
  3. 3
    Several Deer Creek schools on lockdown due to report of suspicious person
  4. 4
    Tulsa mother gets three life sentences, father 25 years in 'horrific' child abuse case
  5. 5
    Man who calls police to say he's 'too high,' found in pile of Doritos
+ show more


× Trending thunder Article