In 2012, the Oklahoma City Thunder held onto the top spot in the Western Conference for most of the season, but fell off at the end and surrendered the No. 1 position to the San Antonio Spurs. After the Thunder’s 104-95 win over the New York Knicks on April 15, they finally secured the No. 1 spot in the 2013 playoffs.
Kevin Durant scored 29 points and Russell Westbrook had 21 before officials ejected him from the game with three minutes remaining. The ejection came due to Westbrook picking up two technicals in the game, the second by spiking the ball after a Travis Outlaw dunk. If Westbrook receives one more technical this season, he will pick up a one-game suspension.
The first technical came when Westbrook argued a non-call in the third quarter when he was elbowed in the face. Reserve Daniel Orton had to lead Westbrook back to the bench after that and it looked like Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka would not return to the game after that.
However, the Kings poured on a 12-2 run to bring the game within 11 and Scott Brooks had to send his stars back in.
The win clinched the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed for the Thunder, the first time they achieved that since moving to Oklahoma City. It is also continued improvement for the franchise who, in their first year in Oklahoma City, were one of the NBA’s worst teams.
In their second season, they made it back to the playoffs, in their third they made it to the Western Conference Finals and in their fourth they played in the NBA Finals. Now, they are the No. 1 seed and hope to take the next step and bring the first championship to Oklahoma City.
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