Anthony Slater
Sports Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as'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.

  • OKC Thunder: Back from a D-League excursion, Mitch McGary is trying to find his role

    By Anthony Slater | Published: Sat, Jan 9, 2016

    McGary has played only 40 total minutes this season, most in mop-up duty.

  • OKC Thunder: Russell Westbrook saves the Thunder late, closes out memorable trip to Los Angeles

    By Anthony Slater | Updated: Sat, Jan 9, 2016

    Facing disaster, Westbrook took over late, turning potential disaster into an uninspiring 117-113 Thunder win. OKC escaped the Lakers. But in the process, more defensive concerns arose.

  • OKC Thunder journal: Kevin Durant, Billy Donovan reflect on Russell Westbrook Night at UCLA

    By Anthony Slater | Published: Fri, Jan 8, 2016

    “It was amazing, man,” Durant said. “So happy for Russ. He came a long way from a guy who wasn’t really recruited at UCLA to having a court named after him. That’s huge. You could tell that he means so much to this UCLA community. Definitely excited for him.”

  • Live Coverage: Thunder at Lakers

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Fri, Jan 8, 2016

    The Thunder is in Los Angeles to face the Lakers. Follow live updates of tonight's matchup from our Thunder coverage team and more from around the web.

  • Westbrook in Westwood: Russell Westbrook’s 10-year ascension to superstardom comes full circle on Westbrook night at UCLA

    By Anthony Slater | Updated: Thu, Jan 7, 2016

    At halftime of the primetime matchup with Arizona, Westbrook was honored for his reported $1 million donation to the school. Because of it, the soon-to-be-built practice facility will house Russell Westbrook court.

  • OKC Thunder: Thunder blows out the Grizzlies, enjoy themselves in the process

    By Anthony Slater | Published: Wed, Jan 6, 2016

    Kevin Durant had 26 points and a season-high 17 rebounds after missing the previous game with a sprained right big toe, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Memphis Grizzlies 112-94 on Wednesday night.

  • Live Coverage: Thunder vs. Grizzlies

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Wed, Jan 6, 2016

    Follow live updates of tonight's matchup from our Thunder coverage team and more from around the web.

  • OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant (toe) a game-time decision against the Grizzlies

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Wed, Jan 6, 2016

    Thunder forward Kevin Durant went through most of Wednesday morning's shootaround and has been upgraded to questionable for OKC's game against the Grizzlies tonight. Durant had been inactive since Saturday after he sprained his right big toe against the Hornets, missing Monday night's loss to the Kings. He didn't practice on Tuesday. But when the practice court opened on Wednesday morning, Durant was seen on the far side of the facility, chatting with team doctors and going through sprints, testing that toe. He will go through a pregame warmup later in the day before his availability is determined. Here was KD sprinting post-shootaround, testing the toe. Wouldn't be surprised if he plays

  • OKC Thunder: How the NBA in OKC reunited two ex-Providence point guards

    By Anthony Slater Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Jan 5, 2016

    Before they were NBA coach and analyst, Billy Donovan and Doris Burke were classmates, Friars

  • OKC Thunder: Thunder struggle on both sides as Kings roll to franchise’s first win in Oklahoma City

    By Anthony Slater | Updated: Mon, Jan 4, 2016

    The Sacramento Kings were part of the first regular season NBA game in Oklahoma City history, a loss to the relocated Hornets back in 2005. Since then, the Kings have shuffled through nine coaches, more than 100 players and played 15 more games in OKC, but have always come up with the same result. Fifteen losses and one dubious streak. But that ended Monday night, a 116-104 Sacramento streak-breaker boosted by some injury news. Because of a sprained toe, Kevin Durant didn't play. Because of his absence and some deeper issues, the Thunder didn't play well. “We're always gonna miss him,” Nick Collison said. “But we have to be able to find a way. We've been better in the past than we were tonight when he's been

  • Live Coverage: Thunder vs. Kings

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Mon, Jan 4, 2016

    The Thunder is looking for its fifth straight win tonight against Sacramento. Follow up-to-the-minute updates on the game from our Thunder coverage team and more from around the web.

  • OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant out against the Kings with sprained right big toe

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Mon, Jan 4, 2016

    Thunder star Kevin Durant sprained his right big toe in the second quarter of the Thunder's Saturday night win over the Hornets. Despite showing no ill effects the rest of the game, Durant woke up sore on Sunday. Because of it, Durant will miss OKC's game against the Kings on Monday night. The team said it will re-evaluate him over the next few days, with his status doubtful for Wednesday against the Grizzlies. Durant missed six games earlier this season with a strained hamstring and a combined 55 games last season -- 51 of those because of three surgeries on his right foot, but four of them because of a sprained big toe on his left foot in the middle of the season.

  • Preview: Oklahoma City Thunder at Charlotte

    By Anthony Slater Staff Writer | Published: Sat, Jan 2, 2016

    Thunder at Hornets The Oklahoman's Anthony Slater previews the Thunder's Saturday night matchup with the Charlotte Hornets When: 6 p.m. CT on Saturday Where: Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte TV: FSN Oklahoma (Cox 37/HD 722; Dish 416; DirecTV 676-5; U-verse 751/1751) Radio: WWLS-AM 640/98.1 FM Three Things to know After starting the season 14-8, Charlotte has lost six of its past nine games. Starting center Al Jefferson recently tore his meniscus and is out at least six weeks. The Thunder is 16-2 against the Western Conference this season, but only 7-8 against the Eastern Conference. Charlotte is 7-4 against the West. Former Thunder guard Jeremy Lamb is averaging 11.3 points and

  • OKC Thunder: Motivated Russell Westbrook springs Thunder to New Years Eve win over the Suns

    By Anthony Slater | Published: Thu, Dec 31, 2015

    Despite OU’s high-profile football game finishing right before tip-off, the arena was full and loud for pregame introductions. And it stayed loud, mostly due to Westbrook.

  • OKC Thunder: Is there a proper time for Billy Donovan, or any NBA coach, to get a technical foul?

    By Anthony Slater Staff writer | Updated: Wed, Dec 30, 2015

    Entering Wednesday, NBA coaches had been called for 52 technical fouls this season. Donovan is one of 10 head coaches without one.

  • OKC Thunder: Rookie Cameron Payne gives the Thunder a jolt in win over the Bucks

    By Anthony Slater Staff Writer | Updated: Tue, Dec 29, 2015

    Moments before the fourth quarter Tuesday night, five Thunder reserves emerged from the huddle, a previously struggling second-unit tasked with protecting a slipping lead. But OKC's all-bench squad had a new point guard and the entire team had a 21-year-old spark. Rookie Cameron Payne, in his second game as a rotation player, played only 15 minutes. But he scored 16 points, stealing the show in the Thunder's 131-123 win over the Bucks. “He's aggressive. He's never nervous,” Kevin Durant said of Payne. “He saved us tonight.” The Thunder's one-time 17-point lead had shrunk to four by the start of the fourth quarter. But as Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka watched from the bench, it

  • Live Coverage: Thunder vs. Bucks

    From Staff Reports | Updated: Tue, Dec 29, 2015

    Follow live updates of tonight's matchup with our Thunder coverage team and more from around the web.

  • OKC Thunder: Russell Westbrook says he's done getting silly technical fouls

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Tue, Dec 29, 2015

    The question for Russell Westbrook was simple: Is there ever a good time to get a technical foul? Westbrook's response was simple, too: "No." This coming from a guy with 71 career technical fouls in his eight seasons, from the same player who was nearly suspended for a huge late-season game last April for his 16th technical before it was eventually rescinded. So why the change of heart? "I learned in the summer time, once they make a call, they ain't changing it," Westbrook said. "It took awhile, but I learned it. I watched all my film, all my techs, all the dumb s*** I was doing. I decided to tell myself there's no reason to argue, so move on." Westbrook said he's "done with those days," but not

  • Thunder Film Room: Where can Cameron Payne help this struggling second-unit?

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Mon, Dec 28, 2015

    There have been occasional glimpses of Cameron Payne through the first two months of his career -- sideline celebrations, grainy D-League highlights, brief time against unique lineups and some mop-up duty in blowouts. But Sunday night marked a first for the rookie. In the second half of the Thunder's win over the Nuggets, Billy Donovan used Payne as OKC's backup point guard, playing him over D.J. Augustin for the first time. For weeks, it seemed to be tilting in that direction. While Payne has played well in the D-League and impressed behind the scenes, Augustin, the established veteran in front of him, has slipped into a shooting slump.

  • Thunder Buddies Podcast: New Years resolutions for every Thunder player

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Mon, Dec 28, 2015

    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 - 12/28 (<–Click Here) - It's a holiday edition of the Thunder Buddies podcast. We hand out Christmas gifts and New Years resolutions to each OKC player. What do Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook get? Listen to find out.

Anthony Slater Today at 12:23 AM Recap from Phoenix, where another great Thunder offensive performance overshadowed some defensive struggles:
Anthony Slater Mon, Feb. 08 2016 11:59:49 PM CST Singler hair/pose in this picture makes it look like backboard is electrocuting him:
Anthony Slater Mon, Feb. 08 2016 11:27:42 PM CST Russell Westbrook: "We gotta be better. If we want to be elite, we gotta do a better job of defending."
Anthony Slater Mon, Feb. 08 2016 10:37:20 PM CST Final: Thunder beat the Suns 122-106. Kevin Durant finishes with 32 points. OKC now 39-14 on the season.
Anthony Slater Mon, Feb. 08 2016 10:32:52 PM CST Thunder from 3 tonight: 15-of-32 Suns from 3 tonight: 1-of-11
Anthony Slater Mon, Feb. 08 2016 10:29:32 PM CST O-K-C chant breaking out in Phoenix. Thunder pulling away late.
Anthony Slater Mon, Feb. 08 2016 10:27:24 PM CST Kevin Durant with 29 points, 22 after halftime.
Anthony Slater Mon, Feb. 08 2016 10:26:05 PM CST Ibaka is epitome of OKC's defense right now: struggling with energy, too many lapses, but capable of making incredible plays like that block
Anthony Slater Mon, Feb. 08 2016 10:22:48 PM CST Adams, Ibaka and Kanter all have five fouls right now.
Anthony Slater Mon, Feb. 08 2016 10:18:39 PM CST Big corner 3 from Dion Waiters. He has 15 points, 4 assists, 3 steals and a block tonight.
Anthony Slater Mon, Feb. 08 2016 10:12:29 PM CST Lotta misses at the rim for the Thunder in this fourth quarter. Suns creeping back into it: 99-94 OKC, 5:58 left.
Anthony Slater Mon, Feb. 08 2016 10:10:09 PM CST Serge blocks Markieff, Thunder bench goes thumbs down. Markieff puts an and-1 over him, then sends a thumbs-down toward Thunder bench.
Anthony Slater Mon, Feb. 08 2016 10:01:01 PM CST Thunder defense has been a lot better the past 6-8 minutes. Kevin Durant really cranked the energy up.
Anthony Slater Mon, Feb. 08 2016 10:00:15 PM CST Dion Waiters took a hard fall on a dunk attempt. Stayed down for a bit. Flexing wrist. Looks like he'll stay in the game.
Anthony Slater Mon, Feb. 08 2016 09:55:29 PM CST Kevin Durant remains in to start the fourth for the second straight game. Expect he won't come out til Westbrook returns. Donovan staggering
Anthony Slater Mon, Feb. 08 2016 09:53:47 PM CST End 3Q: Thunder lead the Suns 89-85. OKC defense going through those recurring issues, but offense may bail them out again.
Anthony Slater Mon, Feb. 08 2016 09:51:36 PM CST Ten quick points for KD late in the third quarter. Thunder lead again.
Anthony Slater Mon, Feb. 08 2016 09:44:15 PM CST Brutal job on the defensive glass for the Thunder in this third quarter. Snoozing in Phoenix.
Anthony Slater Mon, Feb. 08 2016 09:35:56 PM CST Chippy moments in this game between: Waiters and Booker, Tucker and Westbrook, Ibaka and Morris, Waiters and Chandler
Anthony Slater Mon, Feb. 08 2016 09:35:08 PM CST Dion Waiters went after Tyson Chandler about this screen. Double T.