For the second time this season, a fan made the MidFirst half-court shot between the third and fourth quarters to win $20,000. It was the fifth fan half-court shot made in the Thunder's Oklahoma City history, and the second since 2011.
Sunday's shot was made by 24-year-old Justin Dougherty, a sports reporter for KOLR-TV in Springfield, Mo. His girlfriend, Sydney Friar, bought him tickets to the game for his birthday.
Dougherty pleaded for Thunder All-Star Kevin Durant to join him in celebration at midcourt. In a copycat move to what LeBron James did earlier this year after a fan made a half-court shot in Miami, Durant playfully tackled Dougherty.
“He called me out there and I am glad he made it,” Durant said. “When it left his hands, it looked like it was short, but it went straight in. I was happy for him and then I turned around and he was calling me over. I had to run out there.”
ERIC MAYNOR RECEIVES WARM WELCOME BACK
Portland reserve point guard Eric Maynor entered Sunday night's game against his former teammates with 3:34 left in the first quarter and received a warm ovation from the 102nd consecutive sellout crowd (18,203) at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Maynor played 25 minutes and finished with 10 points (2 for 4 on 3-pointers) and four assists in the Trail Blazers' 103-83 loss to OKC, which is now 3-0 against Portland this season.
“He does give them another dimension to their team,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of Maynor. “He's a very good player. He's played well the three weeks or so that he's been with them. I think he's definitely one of the top backup point guards in the league.”
Brooks played his final two seasons collegiately for the Cal-Irvine Anteaters. This year's teams was in attendance for Sunday's game.
The Anteaters (21-15) are participating in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament and will play Oral Roberts (19-14) at 7 p.m. Monday at the Mabee Center in Tulsa. The winner plays at Weber State (28-6) on Wednesday at 8 p.m.
ORU advanced with an 84-76 first-round victory over Texas-Arlington last Wednesday, while the Anteaters beat High Point 80-71 in their first-round contest. This is UCI's first postseason tournament since the 2002 NIT.
UCI last played at the Mabee Center on Dec. 6, 1986, when Brooks led the Anteaters with 22 points in a 92-91 overtime victory.
Brooks returns each fall to host the UCI/Scott Brooks Golf Invitational that raises funds for UCI student-athlete scholarships.
The Thunder recalled guard DeAndre Liggins, forward Perry Jones III and center Daniel Orton from the Tulsa 66ers before Sunday's game. … The Thunder is now 22-2 at home against Western Conference teams and 31-5 at home overall. … Former Thunder scout David Vanterpool and Tulsa 66ers coach Dale Osbourne are assistants with the Blazers, who are coached by former Oklahoma standout Terry Stotts (1976-80). … OKC is now 11-8 all-time against Portland. … Thunder is now 15-1 when its opponent scores less than 90 points and 20-4 when it has more than 10 steals. … The OKC bench outscored the Blazers bench 34-21.
Maynor on his emotions returning to OKC: “It was just good to see all those guys. It felt good for the crowd to clap for me when I checked in and stuff like that. I had some good memories here. I wish we could have got a win, but other than that, it was cool.”