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Thunder: These are historic times in OKC

Oklahoma City is atop the basketball world — and two of the most tradition-rich franchises in NBA history are stopping by to see if they can knock the Thunder off.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: February 21, 2012

Oh, so close.

For the first time – and almost certainly the last time – the Thunder will play back-to-back home games against the two most storied franchises in NBA history.

The league rarely schedules teams to play back-to-back home games. This season became the exception thanks to a 149-day lockout that led to a 66-game schedule being crammed into 119 days (minus the All-Star break).

The Thunder played back-to-back home games for the first time ever on Sunday and Monday with victories over Denver and New Orleans. OKC will double-dip again Wednesday and Thursday against two franchises that have combined to win 33 of the 65 NBA championships to date.

Podunk Oklahoma City, a place many never imagined would become home to a major pro franchise of any kind, came within hours of having the Celtics and Lakers simultaneously parked on the same air charter tarmac and staying in hotels located one block apart – the Celtics at the Sheraton; the Lakers at the Skirvin.

Two meteors nearly collided in America's Heartland. (By the way, the next sighting of Halley's comet is due in mid-2061.)

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers will miss each other by roughly 2½ hours late Wednesday.

The Celtics will depart Will Rogers World Airport around 10 p.m. after playing a 6 p.m. game Wednesday against the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

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