Thunder notebook: San Antonio clinches top seed, OKC gets No. 2 seed

Spurs' rout at home over Portland sealed the deal for San Antonio to host any Game 7 in the Western Conference playoffs.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 23, 2012
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The Thunder will be the 2-seed in the Western Conference Playoffs.

Oklahoma City's fate was sealed Monday night when the Spurs rolled at home, 124-89, over Portland to move to 48-16 and earn the No. 1 seed in the West.


With the Spurs securing the top seed, it assures San Antonio will have home-court advantage through the Western Conference Finals if the Spurs make it that far. That means that any and all potential Game 7s through at least the conference finals will be played on the Spurs home court.

The Thunder will face the 7-seed, which will either be Dallas or Denver depending on how the final handful of games plays out for each of those teams. OKC, however, will have home-court advantage in that first-round series, as well as a potential second-round matchup with the winner between the 3-seed and the 6-seed.

RUSSELL WESTBROOK SLUMPING

After a career-best March, guard Russell Westbrook has hit a slump in April.

Westbrook is averaging 20.7 points on just 38.4 percent shooting in 13 games this month. In 16 April games, Westbrook averaged 26.6 points on 49.2 percent shooting, both career-highs in any month.

On Sunday against the Lakers, Westbrook shot just 3-of-22 from the field but finished with 14 points and 10 assists for his seventh double-double of the year.

“It was a tough night for me all night long,” Westbrook said. “But regardless of what's going on, I still got to be able to run my team. That's my job and that's what I try to do. Unfortunately I didn't do a great job of that (Sunday).”

OKC A ‘PROTOTYPICAL' DEFENSIVE TEAM?

Lakers coach Mike Brown, known as a defensive-oriented coach, said the Thunder doesn't get enough credit for the defense it has played this season.

“They should, because Scott Brooks has done a nice job there,” Brown said. “You talk about having the right pieces on your team to be a very good defensive team, if not the best in the league.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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