The Pacers came in tonight on the heels of a strong win against San Antonio but the Thunder proved too much for them! The Thunder were clicking on both sides of the ball and we talked with Coach Brooks, Thabo and Russ about how it all went down in the video below...
Big showdown game tonight between the Pacers (18-2) and the Thunder (14-4). Indy has the best record in the NBA and also the league's best defense, though Thunder aren't far behind.
OKC won both meetings between the two teams last season and has won four out of the last five.
Check out our latest Thunder Game Report video blog from The Peake...
Postgame comments from Thunder head coach Scott Brooks and from inside the OKC lockerroom will be up on the site an hour or so after the game so check back.
The Thunder are in New Orleans today for tonight's game against the Pelicans, a team they've beaten nine straight times.
The Pels (formally known as the Hornets) will be without second year star Anthony Davis tonight.
The Thunder are coming off a last minute loss to Portland Wednesday night but overall OKC sits at 13-4 this season, the same mark the team had last year their first 17 games and are on track to win 62 times.
But the Thunder's margin of victory in these first 17 games is about half what it was in the first 17 last season. One explanation for that is probably that the Thunder have had one of the most difficult schedules in the league when you look at the win-loss records of their opponents.
But a troubling problem is one that has continued into the regular season after first showing up during pre-season games.
Three point shooting.
The Thunder were pretty darn good last season, hitting 41.7 percent of their shots from long range. This season not so much. OKC is hitting just 33.4 percent so far this season. The one good thing is that the numbers are slowly getting better.
The other problem the Thunder has had so far in their losses is a slow start to the second half. In three of those four losses, the Thunder gave up a lot of points in the third quarter and didn't score nearly enough to keep pace.
Thunder head coach Scott Brooks has said there is no excuse for getting off to bad starts, whether we're talking about the third quarter or the first and whether we're talking about being on the road or at home.
It's easier to dig yourself out of a hole at home when your fans are cheering you on and the Thunder have done that five times during their nine game home court winning streak to start this season. Usually it's been because they've had a terrible start at the beginning of a game and were then left to dig their way back the rest of the game. To their credit they have managed to do it every time, at home.
On the road, the problem seems to come to start the second half. OKC has gotten off to great starts to games for the most part on the road. When they've lost it's been because they had a lead at halftime and things blew up in the third quarter.
Of course we may be picking at nits seeing as the Thunder are sitting here at 13-4 but still, you know the Thunder coaches and players are trying to figure ways to stop these trends before they turn into even bigger problems.
New Orleans will be a great place to start the stoppage.
Kevin Durant scored 33 points last night in the Thunder's 111-107 loss to Portland but he didn't care much about that, he was more more concerned with the three he gave up in the closing seconds against the Blazers.
Durant told reporters after the game he would take full blame for the loss because he got caught up in a pin down play and he was unable to fight threw it. That allowed his man, Blazers' forward Nic Batum to get free for a wide open 3-pointer which he splashed giving the Trail Blazers the cushion they needed to close out Oklahoma City.
The Thunder had led by 11 points at halftime but a big third quarter by Portland got them back in the game.
It's been a good couple of games for Terry Stotts' team. The former hoops star at OU is head coach of the Blazers and his team kncoked off the Thunder last night and the Indiana Pacers in the game before that.
So the Blazers have made a statement. A big one.
By beating both the Pacers and Thunder in consecutive games Portland has now established itself as a clear contender in the Western Conference.
Of course a lot can change in the coming months but based on what we've seen from Stotts' crew it looks like they have some staying power.
Before the season started it didn't appear the Thunder would face much of a challenge from anyone in the Northwest Division. That has certainly changed now with the fast start by the Blazers and the Denver Nuggets, a team most thought wouldn't be much this season.
One thing that Scott Brooks can take solace in, at least his team had a chance all the way to the last minute of a game played against one of the hottest teams in the league inside a hostile environment.
The Thunder have been blown out just once this season, that big loss at Minnesota. The other three have come in the closing seconds and all of the losses have been on the road against good teams that were playing well at the time.
So no need to panic. The Thunder will play the Pelicans in New Orleans tomorrow night and without center Anthony Davis they should be easy pickins.
The Thunder then come home for a game on Sunday that should be a doozy. The Indiana Pacers will be here and they will provide yet another measuring stick for this year's Thunder squad.
The Thunder ended up having their hands full with the now 4-12 Kings in Sacramento last night. Oklahoma City had to hold on to grab a 97-95 win.
The Thunder trailed much of the first half then seemed to get things under control with an 18-0 run in the second half.
That probably should have put the Kings away, but the Thunder relaxed a bit and the Kings just kept playing and got the game back to within a bucket.
That's when Russell Westbrook bowed up against Kings backup point guard Isaiah Thomas and forced him to miss a shotat the buzzer to preserve the victory.
Thomas scored 21 of Sacramento's 30 fourth quarter points, but he couldn't get past Westbrook's defense last night.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Westbrook had 15 and seven assists. Jeremy Lamb is really coming through now, he had 14 points last night and both Serge Ibaka and Reggie Jackson finished with 13 points.
Thunder head coach Scott Brooks hates it any time his guys give up a 30 point quarter but that sort of thing can be potentially disastrous in the fourth quarter.
But a win is a win and this one extended the Thunder winning streak to eight straight games and brought the locals record up to 13-3, setting up an early season showdown with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Nobody really saw this one coming. The Blazers were supposed to be improved a but but not much. They figured to maybe be in the chase for a low level playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Now though Portland is off to one of the best starts in the NBA sitting at 15-3 and leading the Thunder by a game in the Northwest Division, a place the Thunder has ruled the last three seasons.
Now it's looking like the Blazers may have something and so OKC may have some stout competition in a division that at the beginning of the season they figured to win by maybe 10 games or so.
Taking early season successes (or struggles for that matter) and figuring that trend will continue the entire season can be a dangerous thing. But Portland is coming off a win over the Indiana Pacers on Sunday and that shows they're not exactly a fluke.
A win over the Thunder would go a long ways toward proving the Blazers may very well be a legitimate threat in the Northwest Division and in the Western Conference.
Tipoff is set for tonight at 9 o'clock Oklahoma time and can be seen on Fox Sports Oklahoma.
After the Blazers game the Thunder will fly to New Orleans for a Friday night game with the Pelicans before coming back to OKC for a Sunday showdown with the Pacers.
After spending two weeks and six games at home the Thunder got on their team charter and flew out to Sacramento yesterday.
The Thunder have only only played six road games this season and they split those, winning three and losing three.
After these two weeks at home though it would seem the Thunder are much better suited for the road games coming up because when you're at home you can also spend a lot of time on the practice floor and that's just what the team has done.
The young guys have gotten much more comfortable with their increased roles, Reggie Jackson is becoming the top backup point guard in the NBA and Jeremy Lamb is becoming more and more of a scoring threat off the bench.
The Thunder should be able to ease into the road trip with tonight's game against the Kings because once again it looks like they're not very good, coming in with just a 4-11 record and losers of four straight.
However, that last loss, coming against Golden State on Sunday was only by two points, 115-113 and we all know what a load those Warriors can be.
So maybe the guys from Sac-Town are getting a bit better.
We'll see tonight, speaking of getting better, there's no question the Portland trail Blazers have gotten better and apparently much better.
Portland is the second stop on the road trip and the Blazers beat none other than the Indiana Pacers last night. Indy had come in to Portland carrying the best record in the NBA at 16-1 and they left Oregon with a loss, 106-102. Portland is now 15-3 and leads the Northwest Division by a game and a half over the Thunder.
So there's the big challenge, especially since it comes on the second night of a back-to-back. The Thunder just can't be looking past the Kings tonight to the Blazers tomorrow night if they want to keep that seven game winning streak going.