Anthony Slater
Sports Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in 2010 and graduating in 2012. He's a hoops fanatic and, this past season, served as a key contributor to The Oklahoman's NBA coverage, consistently blogging about the Thunder and attending nearly every home game.

  • Russell Westbrook leads Thunder past Spurs, 95-91, for 3-2 lead

    Russell Westbrook leads Thunder past Spurs,...

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Tue, May 10, 2016

    Russell Westbrook had 35 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the San Antonio Spurs 95-91 on Tuesday night and take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference semifinals. Kevin Durant added 23 points as the Thunder won for the second time in San Antonio in the series. Oklahoma City can close out the series Thursday in Game 6 at home. Westbrook sealed the victory with a three-point play with 6.3 seconds remaining, scoring after the Spurs weren't able to foul him intentionally and he drove for a layup while being fouled. Kawhi Leonard finished with 26 points for San Antonio, which lost at home once in the regular season and has dropped two

  • Thunder Buddies podcast: Discussing Kevin Durant's 41-point Game 4 eruption

    Thunder Buddies podcast: Discussing Kevin...

    Anthony Slater,Berry Tramel,Erik Horne | Updated: Mon, May 9, 2016

    Welcome to the home of our Thunder Buddies podcast, named, in part, from Universal Studio's highly-acclaimed comedy 'Ted', but inspired by our continued hope for wall-to-wall coverage of the Thunder. Below is our list of episodes (click the link to listen). If you prefer iTunes for your podcast listening experience, click here and subscribe. Hope you enjoy: Thunder Buddies -- Spurs-Thunder Game 4 recap (<–Click Here) - Kevin Durant erupted for 41 points in an emotional Game 4 home win over the Spurs on Sunday night. How important was the performance not just in this series but in his impending free agency? Also: How about Dion Waiters and Steven Adams? We break down what has been a fantastic

  • Thunder Buddies podcast: Recapping the Thunder's crushing Game 3 loss with Washington Post's Tim Bontemps

    Thunder Buddies podcast: Recapping the...

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Mon, May 9, 2016

    Welcome to the home of our Thunder Buddies podcast, named, in part, from Universal Studio's highly-acclaimed comedy 'Ted', but inspired by our continued hope for wall-to-wall coverage of the Thunder. Below is our list of episodes (click the link to listen). If you prefer iTunes for your podcast listening experience, click here and subscribe. Hope you enjoy: Thunder Buddies -- Tim Bontemps on Thunder-Spurs Game 3 (<–Click Here) - Washington Post national NBA writer Tim Bontemps joins the podcast to discuss Thunder-Spurs Game 3, a crushing home defeat for OKC.

  • Five observations from the Thunder's 111-97 Game 4 win over the Spurs

    Five observations from the Thunder\'s 111-97...

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Mon, May 9, 2016

    Here are five observations from the Thunder's huge 111-97 Game 4 win over the Spurs on Sunday night: 1. Durant's masterpiece -- This Kevin Durant game will be remembered for that Kevin Durant fourth quarter. The 20-foot pull-up to get himself going. The long 3 and stepback J moments later, over the Defensive Player of the Year, to cap a personal 8-0 run. The pretty running floater from the baseline with 2:26 left to put OKC up eight. The game-sealing transition layup, stolen and set up by Russell Westbrook, to put OKC up eight. Then the final 3-pointer to give him hit the 40-point plateau and give him 17 in the fourth, one more than the entire Spurs team.

  • Thunder's dominant fourth quarter leads OKC to crucial Game 4 win

    Thunder\'s dominant fourth quarter leads OKC to...

    By Anthony Slater Staff Writer aslater@oklahoman.com | Updated: Sun, May 8, 2016

    Seventy-two seconds into the most important quarter of this Thunder season — maybe in this franchise's history, considering the looming free agency stakes — Randy Foye nailed a corner 3. The same Randy Foye who hadn't played the two games prior. Thirty-one seconds later, from the opposite corner, Enes Kanter did the same. The same Enes Kanter who didn't even attempt a 3-pointer his first three NBA seasons. Sports can be unpredictable. Those two shots were, as was the quarter in which they occurred. The Thunder entered down four and emerged with an emotional 111-97 Game 4 win, outscoring the Spurs 34-16 to tie the series 2-2 as it heads to San Antonio. Fourth quarters were a documented Thunder problem all season.

  • Kevin Durant scores 41 points, Thunder beat Spurs to tie series

    Kevin Durant scores 41 points, Thunder beat...

    Anthony Slater | Published: Sun, May 8, 2016

    Kevin Durant matched his career playoff high with 41 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs 111-97 on Sunday night to tie the Western Conference semifinal series 2-2. Durant scored 29 points on 10-for-13 shooting in the second half. Russell Westbrook finished with 14 points and 15 assists, Dion Waiters added 17 points, and Steven Adams had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma City. The Thunder shot 50.6 percent overall and 57 percent in the second half to avoid going back to San Antonio down 3-1 for Game 5 on Tuesday night. Tony Parker led San Antonio with 22 points, Kawhi Leonard had 21, and LaMarcus Aldridge 20.

  • Thunder’s 3 late turnovers spell doom in Game 3

    Thunder’s 3 late turnovers spell doom in Game 3

    By Anthony Slater Staff Writer aslater@oklahoman.com | Updated: Sat, May 7, 2016

    Russell Westbrook started to throw a left-handed pass to Serge Ibaka then stopped in mid-motion. No Spur was within five feet. But the second-guess led to a fumble. The fumble led to a steal. The steal turned into two crucial San Antonio points. A few plays later, Westbrook navigated around a screen and tried to dribble through his legs. But he mishandled the maneuver. It led to a steal. The steal turned into two crucial San Antonio points. On the next possession, Kevin Durant fired a crosscourt pass — maybe to Serge Ibaka, maybe to Westbrook — but neither reacted in time. It went out of bounds. The turnover turned into two crucial San Antonio points.

  • Why the Spurs could see more of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook

    Why the Spurs could see more of Kevin Durant,...

    By Anthony Slater Staff Writer Aslater@Oklahoman.com | Updated: Sat, May 7, 2016

    Billy Donovan's first NBA road game was Kevin Durant's second game back from a third major foot surgery. It was Oct. 30 in Orlando. The game went to double-overtime. Russell Westbrook played 48 minutes. Durant logged 54. Both numbers were eye-popping. But neither proved indicative of what was to come. In his first season coaching this 27-year-old star duo, Donovan played it conservative. Durant averaged 35.8 minutes, the third lowest of his career, and rested three of the last eight games. Westbrook averaged 34.4 minutes, near his career average, and sat two of the final three games, something he never did in his earlier years. Those extra pockets of relaxation were for moments like right now. The Thunder trails

  • Kevin Durant: "Money isn't everything in this life"

    Kevin Durant:

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Sat, May 7, 2016

    Over the past few days, Kevin Durant to the Spurs speculation has peppered the Internet. ESPN sourced a report saying the San Antonio front office is going to make a pitch to him, though there has been no direct information on Durant's level of interest. But KD has been super complimentary of Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich and the entire Spurs culture throughout this series and, really, his entire career, leading some to speculate. All season, Durant hasn't shied away from praising opponents or cities, caring little that those comments are often spun into free agency centric pieces. On Saturday afternoon, he was asked about Spurs reserve David West, who played a key role in the Spurs Game 3 win in OKC.

  • Five observations from the Thunder's 100-96 Game 3 loss to the Spurs

    Five observations from the Thunder\'s 100-96...

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Sat, May 7, 2016

    Here are five observations from the Thunder's 100-96 Game 3 home loss to the Spurs on Friday night: 1. Westbrook's bad defense - The Thunder had a four-point lead in the fourth quarter and squandered it. Some will blame Billy Donovan. Some will point to the continued late-game struggles, the stagnant offense, the overzealous Russell Westbrook shot selection and the backbreaking turnovers. Which were all brutal. Which were all costly. But let's go back to the first quarter. Because points are created equal at all times. The OKC crowd came amped up, filled before tip and electric throughout. The Thunder seemed to feed off it. Kevin Durant was bouncing around on defense. Andre Roberson and Dion Waiters were solid on that

  • OKC Thunder: Should the Thunder double-team the scorching hot LaMarcus Aldridge?

    OKC Thunder: Should the Thunder double-team the...

    By Anthony Slater Staff writer Aslater@Oklahoman.com | Updated: Thu, May 5, 2016

    Through two games, Aldridge has torched the Thunder for 79 points, making an outrageous 33 of his 44 shots.

  • Thunder journal: Thunder, Kevin Durant must shore up turnover issues as series moves forward

    Thunder journal: Thunder, Kevin Durant must...

    By Anthony Slater and Erik Horne Staff writers Aslater@Oklahoman.com and EHorne@Oklahoman.com | Published: Thu, May 5, 2016

    The Thunder star forward went an efficient 11-of-19 shooting in Game 2 but committed five turnovers, including a trio of careless, unaware giveaways.

  • Thunder stashed prospect Alex Abrines wins Euroleague Rising Star Trophy

    Thunder stashed prospect Alex Abrines wins...

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Thu, May 5, 2016

    As part of the James Harden deal in October 2012, the Thunder received an early second round pick in the 2013 Draft, which OKC utilized on Spanish sharpshooter Alex Abrines. Over the last couple years, he's developed into a solid piece for FC Barcelona, one of the best teams in the Euroleague. On Thursday, Abrines was announced as the league's Rising Star, voted on by the coaches and given to the player, 22 or under when the season started, who had the most impact. Abrines averaged 9.5 points off the Barcelona bench this season, shooting 44.7 percent from three. He turns 23 in August. Here are some highlights from his season: The 2016 @Euroleague Rising Star Trophy goes to

  • Q&A: Thunder veteran Anthony Morrow chats about his first playoff experience

    Q&A: Thunder veteran Anthony Morrow chats about...

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Thu, May 5, 2016

    The Toronto Raptors played the first game of this postseason, ending Jason Thompson's postseason drought. The veteran appeared in 588 regular season games before finally making the playoffs. That meant Thunder sharpshooter Anthony Morrow, at 515 regular season games, took the crown. Temporarily. Later that day, Morrow's drought also ended after an eight-year NBA wait. Morrow remains on the fringe of the Thunder rotation. He appeared in the both Games 1 and 2 of the Mavericks series, nailing a pair of big 3s, but didn't even enter in Games 4 and 5. Against San Antonio, he played five minutes in Game 1 and 15 in Game 2. That trend may continue on Friday. Or maybe not. But no matter the inconsistent playing time,

  • Power Lunch: Chat with Thunder writer Anthony Slater

    Power Lunch: Chat with Thunder writer Anthony...

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Thu, May 5, 2016

    Talk about the Oklahoma City Thunder with Anthony Slater in today's Power Lunch live chat at 11 a.m.

  • OKC Thunder: Wild late-game sequence captivates sports world

    OKC Thunder: Wild late-game sequence captivates...

    By Anthony Slater Staff writer Aslater@Oklahoman.com | Published: Tue, May 3, 2016

    The final 13.5 seconds of Monday night's game was a chaotic sequence, unfolding in fewer than 20 seconds but capturing the minds of sports fans nationwide for the next 24 hours.

  • Thunder Buddies podcast: Recapping the Thunder's wild Game 2 win in San Antonio

    Thunder Buddies podcast: Recapping the...

    Anthony Slater,Berry Tramel,Erik Horne | Updated: Tue, May 3, 2016

    Welcome to the home of our Thunder Buddies podcast, named, in part, from Universal Studio's highly-acclaimed comedy 'Ted', but inspired by our continued hope for wall-to-wall coverage of the Thunder. Below is our list of episodes (click the link to listen). If you prefer iTunes for your podcast listening experience, click here and subscribe. Hope you enjoy: Thunder Buddies -- Spurs-Thunder Game 2 recap (<–Click Here) - The final 13.5 seconds of Thunder-Spurs Game 2 are still a little tough to comprehend. But OKC escaped with a massive win, tying the series. What will we remember most? What was the postgame scene like? What does this do to your perception of the series moving forward? We discuss.

  • Thunder: OKC survives frantic finish in Game 2, evens series with San Antonio

    Thunder: OKC survives frantic finish in Game 2,...

    By Anthony Slater | Published: Tue, May 3, 2016

    SAN ANTONIO — With a bloodthirsty crowd behind him and jittery Manu Ginóbili crowding his space, Dion Waiters, in the most important moment of his career — inbounding, up one, with 13.5 seconds left of a pivotal playoff game in San Antonio — shivered Ginobili backward with an elbow and then tossed a floating pass toward halfcourt. What transpired was one of the strangest, wildest, frantic, controversial NBA finishes in recent memory. The end result: a 98-97 Thunder escape and a series that heads back to Oklahoma City tied at one. Somehow. “Something certainly happened on that sideline,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said postgame. All season, the Thunder, rather famously, had issues closing games. But down

  • Film room: Breaking down the Thunder's lack of defensive effort during Game 1 in San Antonio

    Film room: Breaking down the Thunder\'s lack of...

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Sun, May 1, 2016

    SAN ANTONIO – Remember the 2014 NBA Finals? When the Spurs reached that peak level of basketball, wiping out LeBron James and the Heat with a beautiful five-game blend of ball movement, scorching shooting and textbook team defense. Saturday night felt like a duplication. It’s tough to imagine even the Thunder’s best performance could’ve held off a 1-0 series deficit. But OKC wasn't near its optimum level, which is where the concern resides. The Thunder had four days off leading up to Game 1, an NBA eternity to both rest and digest the importance of this series for the franchise's long-term outlook. Energy, presumably, wasn't an expected issue.

  • Thunder Buddies podcast: Who is most at fault for the Game 1 beatdown in San Antonio

    Thunder Buddies podcast: Who is most at fault...

    Anthony Slater,Berry Tramel,Erik Horne | Updated: Sun, May 1, 2016

    Welcome to the home of our Thunder Buddies podcast, named, in part, from Universal Studio's highly-acclaimed comedy 'Ted', but inspired by our continued hope for wall-to-wall coverage of the Thunder. Below is our list of episodes (click the link to listen). If you prefer iTunes for your podcast listening experience, click here and subscribe. Hope you enjoy: Thunder Buddies -- Spurs-Thunder Game 1 recap (<–Click Here) - The Spurs blasted the Thunder by 32 points in Game 1, a dominance that made you wonder how competitive OKC will remain in this series. What went so wrong? Who is most at fault? What can OKC do to correct it? And if they don't, what does that mean for Kevin Durant? We discuss.




Anthony Slater Today at 12:30 AM Billy Donovan reflecting on the year: "There was a transition period and I appreciate these guys and their patience" https://t.co/umtcaofBIa
Anthony Slater Today at 12:26 AM Here's Dion Waiters saying he wants to return to the Thunder https://t.co/dpWkcbOZQH
Anthony Slater Today at 12:24 AM Kevin Durant's late flurry came up short in Game 7. An uncertain summer awaits. Recap from Oakland: https://t.co/lxelz70Qpq
Anthony Slater Today at 12:22 AM Dion Waiters on the unknown summer facing him and Kevin Durant https://t.co/7EGAAXrgU1
Anthony Slater Today at 12:20 AM RT @ErikHorneOK: More Adams on Green. No apologies but some congratulations: https://t.co/6rUsy3g0du
Anthony Slater Today at 12:18 AM Kevin Durant searched out Dion Waiters right after the buzzer. What was his message? Waiters: https://t.co/eB554Nstbq
Anthony Slater Today at 12:13 AM Dion Waiters, restricted free agent, said he wants to return to OKC: "Of course...Why not? Best fans in the world.” https://t.co/rT2OG2sNUV
Anthony Slater Today at 12:08 AM A couple Steve Kerr comments on the Thunder https://t.co/ll9vLQLthw
Anthony Slater Today at 12:05 AM @Ben_Dowsett also a telling stat. Just roasted them from deep.
Anthony Slater Mon, May. 30 2016 11:51:15 PM CST Game 6 and 7 combined Warriors: 38-of-81 from three Thunder: 10-of-50 from three
Anthony Slater Mon, May. 30 2016 11:40:33 PM CST @UPTOWNWHODAT dude, it's my job, the question had to be asked
Anthony Slater Mon, May. 30 2016 11:26:25 PM CST Well-done by @NBAonTNT. Particularly Steven Adams bare-handing the Marlin in cargo shorts https://t.co/4EX79aKHg1
Anthony Slater Mon, May. 30 2016 11:25:16 PM CST Kevin Durant's full answer on his future https://t.co/t2F6sILHnr
Anthony Slater Mon, May. 30 2016 11:21:36 PM CST Spencer Hawes spotted near the Warriors locker room postgame wearing a Seattle Sonics shirt in an ultimate troll move.
Anthony Slater Mon, May. 30 2016 11:09:45 PM CST KD declines to talk about his future: "We just lost 30 minutes ago"
Anthony Slater Mon, May. 30 2016 11:07:55 PM CST Kevin Durant: "It hurts losing. It hurts losing, especially when you're up 3-1"
Anthony Slater Mon, May. 30 2016 11:00:35 PM CST The summer of Durant has begun with an unlikely recruiter https://t.co/rHEu3ZWTbH
Anthony Slater Mon, May. 30 2016 10:56:47 PM CST Steve Kerr starts press conference congratulating Thunder: "They deserve to be there as much as we do."
Anthony Slater Mon, May. 30 2016 10:36:32 PM CST Positive for OKC: Young core grew a ton, showed KD plenty in these playoffs. Growth from Adams/Waiters/Kanter/Roberson. All 24 or younger.
Anthony Slater Mon, May. 30 2016 10:27:45 PM CST Kevin Durant hugged Dion Waiters postgame, then congratulated Warriors. Then walked off. Some will wonder for the final time in OKC jersey.

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