For the first time in franchise history, the Thunder played a home game on the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.
Before the game, the entire crowd observed a moment of silence and throughout the night, the OKC coaches, broadcasters and support staff could be seen wearing a commemorative pin for the bombing victims.
THUNDER THROWS A BLOCK PARTY
This season, the Thunder averaged 6.1 blocks per game, the second most in the NBA.
Seventeen minutes into Saturday night’s playoff-opening win over Memphis, OKC already had seven, swarming the paint and denying a variety of what looked to be clean Grizzlies looks.
Serge Ibaka finished with four, Steven Adams had three in the first quarter and OKC ended with nine.
“I thought we did a great job protecting the paint,” Caron Butler said. “It allowed us to get out on their shooters.”
TAYSHAUN PRINCE LEAVES WITH ILLNESS
One of Kevin Durant’s primary defenders had a rough night. And it wasn’t because of his unenviable assignment.
Four minutes into the game, Tayshaun Prince left with what the team is calling an illness. He did not return.
Tony Allen replaced him in the lineup to start the second half.
CALATHES APPEALS SUSPENSION
Suspended Memphis Grizzlies guard Nick Calathes is mounting a defense against a 20-game suspension handed down Friday for violation of the NBA's drug policy, citing it as unfair.
Calathes was suspended less than 24 hours before the Grizzlies took the court in Game 1 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was suspended for the use of the drug Tamoxifen, one of 140 substances banned by the NBA's performance-enhancing drug policy.
Calathes' attorney David Caldwell will speak to the NBA players union on Monday to see if it can expedite a grievance to try and get Calathes back into the postseason.
UDRIH TAKES HIS PLACE
In place of the suspended Calathes, veteran guard Beno Udrih is getting the backup point guard minutes for Memphis this series.
Udrih started the season with the Knicks but experienced a ton of turmoil. He verbally sparred with New York coach Mike Woodson through the media and struggled on the court.
But now in Memphis, coach Dave Joerger said Udrih is more comfortable and committed.
“He’s really gotten himself in better shape since we got him from New York,” Joerger said. He really loves our locker room.”