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The five most intriguing games from the Thunder's recently released 2013-14 schedule

by Anthony Slater Modified: August 7, 2013 at 12:35 am •  Published: August 6, 2013
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) goes past Miami's LeBron James (6) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) goes past Miami's LeBron James (6) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

The NBA schedule was released on Tuesday. You can view the full Thunder slate by clicking here.

But below is a quick look at five of the most intriguing matchups:

5. Nets at Thunder (Jan. 2nd) – 7 p.m., NBA TV

Could be a trainwreck, could be a veteran-laden masterpiece. But either way, the new-look Brooklyn Nets should provide nonstop entertainment. And they make their lone stop to OKC on Jan. 2nd, to face a Thunder team that pays $15 million less in salary (around $70 million) than the Nets do strictly in luxury tax (around $86 million).

4. Spurs at Thunder (Nov. 27th) – 7 p.m.

The Grizzlies are contenders. The Rockets bulked up their frontline. And the Clippers talented roster finally has a respected coach. But the Western Conference still runs through San Antonio and Oklahoma City, the regular season and playoff champions from the past two seasons. They meet four times this season, the first coming in late November in OKC.

3. Thunder at Knicks (Dec. 25th) – 1:30 p.m., ABC

Christmas in New York. Sounds like a terrible romantic comedy from the 90’s, but also describes the holiday plans for Scott Brooks’ crew in 2013. It’ll be the fourth consecutive season the Thunder has been featured on the NBA’s showcase day, a concrete sign of where the franchise is at nationally, and pairs the league’s two most prolific scorers in Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant.

2. Thunder at Heat (Jan. 29th) – 6 p.m., ABC / Heat at Thunder (Feb. 20th) – 7 p.m., TNT

Remember Game 1 of the 2012 NBA Finals, when the Thunder used a late Kevin Durant surge to burst past the Heat by double-digits and put LeBron James career Finals record at 2-9? Seems like ages ago. But today, it still remains the last time Durant and the Thunder got the better of James and the Heat, who have rattled off six straight against their intra-conference foe.

1. Rockets at Thunder (Dec. 29th) – 6 p.m., NBA TV

KD and Howard. Westbrook and The Beard. Patrick Beverley and an anything but adoring Thunder fanbase. This has all the makings of the NBA’s next great Western Conference rivalry, with storylines aplenty and stars all over the court. A second consecutive playoff matchup between the two, this one featuring Howard and a healthy Westbrook, would really accelerate the animosity, but for now, we’ll settle for four regular season bouts, starting right before the New Year.

by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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