• LeBron James to miss two weeks with knee, back strains

    Published: Thu, Jan 1, 2015

    Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James is projected to miss two weeks after tests revealed left knee and lower back strains. The Cavaliers sent out a press release stating "these conditions will be treated via a multimodal approach consisting of anti-inflammatories, rehabilitation, training room treatments, and rest." James, who turned 30 on Dec. 30, has missed the Cavaliers' last two games with knee soreness. The Cavs have lost three consecutive games, including James' last appearance Sunday against the Detroit Pistons. Cleveland is currently 18-14, four games behind Chicago in the Eastern Conference's Central Division.

  • Marcus Smart sent a message with physical play against Kings

    Published: Thu, Jan 1, 2015

    The play that stood out in the Boston Celtics' beatdown of the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday? DeMarcus Cousins going all WWE on Marcus Smart, slinging him to the ground and getting himself ejected. Smart's physicality is something that will be critical to the Celtics' rebuilding process. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe says Smart, the future of the franchise following the Rajon Rondo trade, "needs to become the same undersized bull he was at Oklahoma State." "With Rondo gone, the Celtics have lost all their villains," Washburn says. "It’s going to take time, but he [Smart] will become the Celtic hated by opposing fans because of his rugged style. He will be the object of hecklers, and that’s a sign of respect."

  • The 10 most-read NewsOK articles of 2014 are ...

    Richard Hall | Published: Thu, Jan 1, 2015

    So, I can’t give you an accurate number on just how many articles (blog posts included) NewsOK published in 2014, but it was a lot. And I do mean a lot. But here are the 10 NewsOK articles you guys found most interesting in 2014

  • Russell Westbrook goes Marshawn Lynch in postgame presser: "It was a good win for us"

    Anthony Slater | Updated: Wed, Dec 31, 2014

    With seven seconds left in the first half on Wednesday night, Russell Westbrook received a controversial second technical foul for taunting the Suns bench. He was ejected. But the Thunder ended up winning anyway. And when Westbrook was asked about the ejection postgame — and the sequence leading up to it, which included his first technical […]

  • OKC Thunder: Strange first half sequence highlights wild Thunder win over the Suns

    By Anthony Slater | Published: Wed, Dec 31, 2014

    With 32 seconds left in the first half, after some extended jawing with Markieff Morris, Russell Westbrook took the inbounds pass with some clear intentions. Always energized and now motivated, Westbrook beelined to the hoop for a chance at some brief redemption. But after overshooting the layup into the hands of Suns center Alex Len, Westbrook’s next mission was to get it back. And to do so, he hounded the unaware 7-footer, spooking him into throwing a wild elbow, which sent Westbrook to the floor and set off one of the wilder end-of-half sequences you’ll ever see. An agitated Westbrook rose to his feet to confront Len, but his Thunder teammates were already ahead of him.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder notebook: Thunder continues its New Years Eve mini-tradition with a win

    By Anthony Slater | Updated: Wed, Dec 31, 2014

    “I love it,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “You have an opportunity to play on Christmas Day and that’s great and you have an opportunity to play at home on New Year's and it’s great. It’s great for the city and after-game excitement.”

  • Live Coverage: Thunder vs. Suns

    staff reports | Updated: Wed, Dec 31, 2014

    Kevin Durant makes his return to the Thunder lineup tonight against the Phoenix Suns. Follow our live coverage with Darnell Mayberry, Anthony Slater and more from around the web.

  • OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant will play against Suns tonight

    BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com | Updated: Wed, Dec 31, 2014

    Thunder coach Scott Brooks announced at shootaround Wednesday morning that Kevin Durant will play against the Phoenix Suns tonight. Durant had missed the previous six games with an ankle injury. The Thunder went 3-3 in that span, with wins against the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs and Charlotte Hornets. Durant's last game was against the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 18.

  • OKC Thunder: Numbers never lie, and the Thunder has a late-game offensive problem

    By Anthony Slater | Published: Tue, Dec 30, 2014

    TRYING TO FIND THE CLUTCH — Without Kevin Durant, the Thunder is struggling in game-deciding moments. Here’s a look inside.

  • OKC Thunder notebook: Thunder prepare for key New Years Eve battle with eighth-seeded Suns

    BY ANTHONY SLATER, Staff Writer, aslater@opubco.com | Published: Tue, Dec 30, 2014

    A little more than two weeks ago, the Suns stumbled into Oklahoma City with a 12-12 record and having lost four straight. They were still the West’s eighth seed, but with the healthy Thunder rising and Phoenix rapidly plummeting, that didn’t look long for existence. OKC would smack the Suns that night by 24 points and pull to within a half-game of that final playoff spot. But in the 17 days since, the trends have flipped. Kevin Durant sprained his ankle and the Thunder faltered in four different late-game situations. OKC was never able to climb over .500. But Phoenix, who briefly fell under that break-even line, has got hot.

  • OKC Thunder: Serge Ibaka continuing to get shut out by teammates in the 4th quarter

    BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com | Published: Mon, Dec 29, 2014

    SERGE IBAKA — A longtime problem for the Thunder simply isn’t getting any better. In fourth quarters, when he mysteriously mutates from asset to afterthought, Serge Ibaka is averaging only 3.4 points on just 2.6 shot attempts.

  • OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant looks 'lively' in first practice back

    Anthony Slater | Published: Mon, Dec 29, 2014

    THUNDER NOTEBOOK — Kevin Durant returned to full practice for the first time since his Dec. 18 ankle sprain as the Oklahoma City Thunder prepares for a New Year’s Eve home date with Phoenix.

  • VIDEO: Serge Ibaka's two most impressive plays during his strong performance in Dallas

    Anthony Slater | Published: Mon, Dec 29, 2014

    During arguably his best performance of the season on Sunday night — which included a 26-point, 10-rebound double-double in which he made 11 of his 14 shots — Serge Ibaka did a ton of positive things. But beyond the numbers, Scott Brooks pointed out two of Ibaka’s plays that were particularly encouraging. The first came with […]

  • Oklahoma City Thunder notebook: Kevin Durant misses sixth straight game

    By Darnell Mayberry, Staff Writer | Published: Sun, Dec 28, 2014

    Scott Brooks said Kevin Durant participated in the team’s morning shootaround Sunday in Dallas and followed that up with some light shooting before the Mavs game.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: OKC players talk 'trust' after loss to Mavericks

    BY DARNELL MAYBERRY | Published: Sun, Dec 28, 2014

    The Thunder squandered another chance — its third this season — to climb to .500 after delivering a head-scratching final four minutes and allowing Dallas to snap its two-game winning streak.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Why Steven Adams' improving post defense is vital in his and the Thunder's continued growth

    BY ANTHONY SLATER | Published: Sat, Dec 27, 2014

    Last March, Steven Adams struggled to defend Al Jefferson. On Friday, the wiser Adams got his shot at revenge. And he made the most of it. Adams stayed strong in the post, stayed down on the pump fakes and limited Jefferson to four points on 2-of-7 shooting in the Thunder’s blowout win.

  • Collected Wisdom: Mark Price, former NBA star, Charlotte Hornets assistant coach and Oklahoma native

    INTERVIEWED BY ANTHONY SLATER | Published: Sat, Dec 27, 2014

    After helping turn the Georgia Tech program around and then starring in the NBA, Mark Price is now an assistant for the Charlotte Hornets. He was in town on Friday night. And he shared some of his collected wisdom.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder notebook: Could Russell Westbrook's December to remember earn him Western Conference Player of the Month honors?

    By Darnell Mayberry, Staff Writer | Published: Sat, Dec 27, 2014

    With two games remaining this month, Russell Westbrook has compiled averages of 29.6 points, six rebounds, 7.5 assists and 2.2 steals in 33.6 minutes. In 14 games this month, he’s shooting 46.2 percent from the field, and 82 percent from the foul line.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Jeremy Lamb returns to Thunder rotation in win over Hornets

    BY ANTHONY SLATER | Published: Fri, Dec 26, 2014

    On Friday night, Scott Brooks reinserted Jeremy Lamb back into the rotation. During the Thunder’s 98-75 blowout of the Hornets, he played 21 minutes, the most court time he’s received in the past 11 games.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: OKC locks down Al Jefferson, Kemba Walker in win over Charlotte Hornets

    By Darnell Mayberry, Staff Writer | Published: Fri, Dec 26, 2014

    Oklahoma City effectively eliminated Charlotte’s two biggest scoring threats and the Hornets never had a chance, as the Thunder snapped a two-game home losing streak with a 98-75 rout inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.