The Oklahoma City Thunder's tradition of playing an exhibition game in Tulsa continues Thursday night with the team hosting the newly named New Orleans Pelicans inside the BOK Center.
OKC is 4-0 in its annual Tulsa preseason affair. The Thunder did not host a preseason game before the start of the 2011-12 season due to the NBA lockout limiting all teams to two preseason contests.
Crowds have gotten consistently larger each time the Thunder travels to Tulsa. An announced crowd of 10,0007 was on hand in 2008, 10,427 made it in 2009, 16,541 were on hand in 2010 and a sold-out crowd of 18,233 watched the Thunder in 2012.
“It's always been great. Every game we've had there it's been a great atmosphere,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “It's great for us and great for the fans. It's an opportunity for us to continue to show the state our team. We have an amazing following of Thunder fans throughout the state and we take pride in it. We want our fans to be proud of what we do on and off the floor, and that's not going to change. I think Tulsa has been great. Every exhibition game we've had there has been a lot of excitement in the building and we kind of look forward to playing there.”
BROOKS IMPRESSED WITH THABEET
Hasheem Thabeet got the start in place of Kendrick Perkins (dislocated finger) on Tuesday against Denver and impressed.
He finished with four points, four rebounds (three offensive) and one blocked shot in 20 minutes.
“I thought he was very active,” Brooks said. “He did a great job of helping on our coverages on the pick and roll … He was using his length. That's one of the things we want to have him focus on is using his length. He's 7-4 and we want to be able to see it every night.”