Starting center Nenad Krstic (back spasms) and rookie center Cole Aldrich (left rib contusion) were both inactive for Sunday's 106-77 victory over Cleveland and their playing status remain day-to-day.
With a shortage at the position, the Thunder recalled second-year center Byron Mullens from the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League. Mullens played seven minutes and had five points, five rebounds, one steal and one blocked shot.
In his lone appearance with the 66ers, Mullens had 19 points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block in 33 minutes.
His early return to the Thunder did come at a cost because NBA players are allowed only three assignments to the D-League during the season. Mullens and Aldrich already have one each.
During a MidFirst promotion midway through the second quarter, fan Robert Yanders buried a half-court shot to become the contest's first-ever winner.
â€œIt happened so fast,â€ Yanders, 31, said of his shot. â€œI remember being asked (in the tunnel), â€˜What kind of shot will you shoot, a two-hand shot or a one-handed shot?' I just said, â€˜I'm going to shoot it as if I really wanted it to go in.' And that's what I did, man. And it went in.â€
Yanders received $20,000 for making the shot.
Thunder backup guard Eric Maynor buried a 35-footer at the third-quarter buzzer and earned roughly the same amount. Maynor's salary of $1,417,800 averages out to $17,290.24 per game.
SWEET BABY JAMES
The first quarter was highlighted by a baseline-to-baseline drive from James Harden that ended with a tomahawk dunk over J.J. Hickson while getting fouled.
Harden's effort brought the Thunder bench to its feet. â€œHarden was great tonight,â€ teammate Jeff Green said. â€œHis dunk was very impressive.â€
Harden, who finished with 19 points in 21 minutes, added a second-quarter dunk that had one fan screaming, â€œSweet baby James.â€
Single-game tickets for the second half of the season go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. today.
They can be purchased at thunder.nba.com; by phone at 208-HOOP (4667); at the Oklahoma City Arena box office; or at any area Ticketmaster location, including Homeland stores. A maximum of eight tickets per game are available to each buyer.
Fans can purchase single-game tickets several days in advance of the general public by following the team's Twitter account (@okcthunder), Facebook (facebook.com/thunderfans) or signing up for Thunder Insider, the team's official email newsletter.
The Thunder outscored the Cavaliers 29-11 on fast-break points and 56-28 in the paint. â€¦ Cavs center Anderson Varejao had 16 rebounds and tied a career high with nine at the offensive end. â€¦ Sunday was the 10th sellout (18,203) in 12 home games. â€¦ Former Oklahoma State standout Joey Graham did not enter the game until late in the third quarter, played 16 minutes and finished with seven points.
â€œGreat two years. The fans were unbelievable. We kind of fell in love with each other. They didn't know what to expect and we didn't know what to expect. After about the first 15-20 games, you're getting sellout crowds and standing-room-only against San Antonio. You knew it was something special.â€ â€“ Cleveland coach Byron Scott, who coached the Hornets while they were in Oklahoma City.