The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

April 16, 2013

Thunder clinch top seed in the West with win over Kings

OKLAHOMA CITY — For a team as successful as the Oklahoma City Thunder has been the past few years, regular-season accomplishments mean very little. Anything outside of an NBA title turns into white noise at this point.

However, the Thunder still recognize big moments when they occur.

When Oklahoma City defeated the Sacramento Kings 104-95 Monday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, the Thunder reached a couple of franchise milestones. Not only did they clinch the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs, but they also reached the 60-win plateau for the first time since coming to Oklahoma City.

“It feels good,” Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant said. “We still have a lot of work to do. We have never done it here before. It’s new to us, but it feels good. It shows progression as a franchise every single year.”

No matter what they do in the regular-season finale Wednesday against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Thunder (60-21) know they will have home-court advantage throughout the Western Conference


Meanwhile, the Kings (28-53) lost for the seventh time in their past eight games. But they at least tried to make a contest of it.

After trailing by 24 at one point, Sacramento found itself down only 12 points in the fourth. Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks had to bring Westbrook and Durant back into the game to close the night out.

With three minutes remaining, Durant hit a driving layup and had a few words for the Kings’ bench as he went back up court. After the Kings’ Travis Outlaw came up with a steal and dunk, Westbrook collected his second technical of the night and was ejected from the game.

Even so, that wasn’t enough to slow the Thunder down. With under a minute left, Serge Ibaka and Durant scored the next four points to put the game out of reach.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Brace yourselves for what is likely bumpy road to playoffs

    In October of 2005, back when Butch Peters had Norman High ranked No. 5 on the gridiron and Karin Sexson had Norman North ranked No. 1 on the volleyball court, I wrote a column under the headline: “Two great teams … Who cares.” It was all ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Clash Football It’s a whole new ball game for Tigers and Timberwolves

    With just over two weeks until football practice officially begins Aug. 11, everyone is busy preparing for the upcoming season. After all, it’s one that will be unlike any other....

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Durant tells media that he’s not looking too far ahead

    While most of the NBA’s offseason has been focused on players going home, max contracts and who gets Kevin Love, the reigning MVP has been pretty low key. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has stayed in the shadows for the most part while ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • OSSAA releases enrollment figures

    The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association released the preliminary 2014-15 ADM for classification purposes Friday and not much has changed for many of the area schools. Moore (2,265), Norman North (2,180), Westmoore (2,090), ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Swim regionals 1 Norman North’s Justin Wu qualifies for U.S. national

    Justin Wu made history last week when he qualified for the U.S. national swim meet. A senior at Norman North, Wu already owned several state records when he outpaced a field of college swimmers in the event....

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woodard joins successful soccer team in Stillwater

    Haley Woodard has been one of the preeminent multi-sport stars in the state for several years. The Norman North senior is a state champion in track and soccer and has been an integral part of a basketball team that’s been to back-to-back ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Posturing, predictions fly as conference plans for new season

    There’s plenty to enjoy about the Southeastern Conference’s annual cattle call in Hoover, Ala., where media of every description join players and coaches from each of the league’s 14 football teams to discuss the coming season. The best ...

    July 18, 2014

  • Roberson2 66ers heading south

    The last five years, the Oklahoma City Thunder have had an unsung hero in their rise to the top of the NBA. Along with the talents of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the franchise has had the services of one of the best developmental ...

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo