TWO YEARS LATER
The Thunder is in the Western Conference Finals just two years after finishing with a 23-59 record after starting out 3-29 in Oklahoma City.
Since the NBA went to a conference format in 1970-71, only one other team has reached the conference finals within two years after winning 23 or fewer games. That was San Antonio, which went 20-62 in 1996-97 and won the NBA title in the strike-shortened season of 1998-99.
4-0 VS. 4-3
Dallas is coming off a 4-0 series against the two-time defending world champion Los Angeles Lakers, while OKC is coming off a 4-3 victory over Memphis in a Western Conference semifinal.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, a team coming off a four-game sweep has played a team coming off a seven-game series 12 times in NBA history, and has won nine times.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle were roommates with the Albany Patroons of the CBA in the late 1980s. … With its Game 7 victory over Memphis, the Thunder improved to 8-10 in Sunday games, 25-6 in games after a loss and 14-1 in bounce-back games at home. … OKC-Memphis so far is the only playoff series to go seven games this season.