The Thunder arrived in Oklahoma City in 2008 as a dilapidated franchise from Seattle. Its first year of existence, OKC started out 3-29 and finished 23-59.
Oddly enough, it was during the early struggles when the Thunder experienced its most success against the powerful San Antonio Spurs, winning three of the first four meetings.
More oddly, the better OKC has gotten, the worse it has done against the Spurs, having lost eight of the last nine.
Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at the AT&T Center, the two franchises will meet for the first time ever in the Western Conference Finals.
Here is a look back:
1982 — Seattle SuperSonics lost to San Antonio Spurs (4-1) in Western Conference semifinals
2002 — Seattle SuperSonics lost to San Antonio Spurs (3-2) in Western Conference first round
2005 — Seattle SuperSonics lost to San Antonio Spurs (4-2) in Western Conference semifinals
Thunder vs. Spurs
March 16 — at Thunder 78, Spurs 76
March 31 — Thunder 96, at Spurs 95
April 7 — at Spurs 99, Thunder 89
Nov. 14 — Thunder 101, at Spurs 98
Jan. 13 — Spurs 109, at Thunder 108 (OT)
Feb. 24 — at Spurs 95, Thunder 87
March 22 — Spurs 99, at Thunder 96
Nov. 14 — Spurs 117, at Thunder 104
Jan. 1 — at Spurs 101, Thunder 74
Feb. 23 — at Spurs 109, Thunder 105
Jan. 8 — Thunder 108, Spurs 96
at Chesapeake Energy Arena
The Thunder became the first team to win back-to-back-to-back games in the NBA's condensed 66-game schedule by destroying the Spurs. OKC led 91-69 through three quarters and rested all five starters the entire fourth quarter. The Spurs also rested every starter in the fourth quarter except Gary Neal. Kevin Durant had 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, while Sixth Man of the Year James Harden scored 20. Spurs sixth man Manu Ginobili was held out with a left oblique injury.
Key stats: OKC had 25 assists on 38 field goals. The Thunder's biggest lead was 25 (98-73).
Records after result: Thunder (8-2), Spurs (6-3)
Feb. 4 — Spurs 107, Thunder 96
at AT&T Center
Point guard Tony Parker erupted for 42 points and also had nine assists to become the franchise's all-time assists leader while cooling off the league's hottest team. "Tony Parker had his way with us," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said afterward. Spurs center Tim Duncan had 13 points and 15 rebounds. OKC trailed by as many as 24 points in the fourth quarter and was led by Durant's double-double of 22 points and 11 rebounds. Ginobili again did not play, this time because of a broken hand.
Key stats: Parker had 42 points on 29 shots (16 for 29 from the field; 10 for 12 from the free-throw line), but the Spurs shot just 42.0 percent (37 for 88) as a team.
Records: Thunder (18-5), Spurs (16-9)
March 16 — Spurs 114, Thunder 105
at Chesapeake Energy Arena
After a 14-game home-court winning streak, the Thunder lost for the third time in four home games as San Antonio continued its rapid rise in the Western Conference standings. The Spurs' convincing victory pulled them to within three games of the Thunder. "We can't be relaxed because we're at home," Durant said. "Just because we're at home, we're not going to (automatically) win games." The Spurs opted to rest Ginobili to save him for the following night at Dallas, yet still won handily.
Key stats: San Antonio shot 51.7 percent from the field, one of only five games the opponent shot 50-plus percent against OKC all season. Serge Ibaka had 12 points, 12 rebounds and six blocked shots. The Thunder trailed by as many as 27 and never led.
Records: Thunder (33-11), Spurs (29-13)
Overall series record
Spurs lead 9-4