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Tramel: Lu Dort joins the Buzzer-Beater Club in Thunder's win vs. Spurs

Steph Curry never has made one. Neither has Paul George, Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan nor Mike Conley. Bill Russell never made one. Neither did Dominique Wilkins, Mitch Richmond, Bernard King or Bob Lanier. 

They are random. They are rare. They are thrilling. And they are precious. 

They are buzzer-beaters. 

Welcome to the club, Luguentz Dort. The Thunder middle linebacker, who defends with the ferocity of Sidney Moncrief and shoots with the confidence of Klay Thompson, swished a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from just above the corner Wednesday night to give OKC a 102-99 victory over the Spurs. 

True buzzer-beaters are not common. True buzzer-beaters leave no time left on the clock. Not one second. Not 0.4 seconds. The buzzer sounds with the shot in the air. 

Dort’s game-winner was just the 750th buzzer-beater in NBA history, according to the fabulous research of basketball-reference.com, going back to the league’s inaugural year, 1946. This is the 75th NBA season, so that’s about 10 per year. The NBA hasn’t always had 30 franchises, so the average is about one buzzer-beater every 2-3 years per team. 

Which puts the Thunder ahead of the curve. And that’s about right for the Thunder. Dort’s buzzer-beater was the sixth in the 13-year Thunder history. 

Remember the other five? 

  • January 21, 2009: Jeff Green’s 16-footer beat Golden State 122-121. 

  • January 22, 2011: Kevin Durant’s 3-pointer beat New York 101-98. 

  • December 29, 2011: Durant’s 3-pointer beat Dallas 104-102. 

  • April 9, 2017: Russell Westbrook’s 3-pointer beat Denver 106-105. 

  • February 22, 2018: Westbrook’s 3-pointer beat Sacramento 110-107. 

  • The all-time leader in buzzer-beaters? No surprise. Michael Jordan, with nine. Kobe Bryant had eight, but so did Joe Johnson. LeBron and Paul Pierce have/had seven each. Dwyane Wade, Vince Carter, Gilbert Arenas and Andre Igoudala had/have five each. 

    Heady company for Dort, who entered the game in an horrific slump, his 3-point percentage having fallen to .318. Dort had made just 17 of his previous 80 3-point shots. 

    But his confidence is unshakable. Dort nailed a 3-pointer early in the third quarter – to ignite a Thunder run – then back-to-back treys in the final four minutes to give OKC a 97-90 cushion. 

    And with the game tied at 99, 3.9 seconds left, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander inbounded the ball to center Al Horford near the top of the key. The plan was a two-man game between Big Al and SGA, the Thunder’s two best players. But Spurs center Jakob Poeltl made a play for the ball, Horford’s instincts took over and he drove into the lane. Patty Mills, covering Dort on the far side, dashed in to help, Horford zipped the ball to Dort and soon enough he was at the bottom of a totally charming dogpile. 

    “Kind of surreal,” said Horford, who even at age 34 was in the middle of the celebration. Lot of emotion going around at the same time. So happy for Lu, hitting that shot. 

    Who wouldn’t be? Dort, an NBA sophomore who has found a niche after being an undrafted free agent, alternately looks like the steal of the century and then the Andre Roberson-like D-and-no-3 player. 

    But Dort has expanded his offensive game with some drives – he had two more left-handed finishes at the rim in the first few minutes against San Antonio – and his confidence is unwavering on the 3-ball. 

    I give Lu credit,” said Thunder coach Mark Daigneault. “Obviously, his shooting’s been up and down. He had a good shooting night. He had a similar type shot against the Lakers that he missed. For all these players, it’s about being in these situations and drinking up the competition and learning the lessons. The more you’re in these situations and drinking up the competition and learning the lessons, the more comfortable you get. I give Lu a lot of credit for his resilience through the ups and downs of his shooting this season. 

    This Thunder season is about player development and the resulting win-loss struggles that should lead to a quality draft pick. But sometimes, those goals butt heads, because sometimes development means success, not struggles. Dort is a prime example. 

    "For all of our players, the loop that we’re in is preparing, as hard as we can, then competing,  then reflecting and learning,” Daigneault said. “No one is a better example of someone that’s committed to that process than Lu. As it relates to his shooting, he puts the work in and he prepares. He goes out there and takes the shots. 

    Daigneault referenced Game 5 of the Thunder-Rockets playoff series from a year ago. Dort missed 13 of 16 shots, including all nine 3-pointers, and the Thunder lost by 34. But Dort was 2-of-6 on 3-pointers in a Game 6 victory, then exploded for 30 points in Game 7, making six of 12 deep balls. 

    “Hcomes out the next game and starts firing again,” Daigneault said. “When he has a tough shooting night, he gets back in the gym and just repeats the process. The consistency of his approach will produce consist results over time, if he continues to do that. 

    And Dort always will have Wednesday night, when he joined the Buzzer-Beater Club. 

    Related Photos
    Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) reacts after hitting the game winning 3-point basket in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]

    Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) reacts after hitting the game winning 3-point basket in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]

    <figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-06d94f9a5a1ae8fd022590061fa11978.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) reacts after hitting the game winning 3-point basket in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) reacts after hitting the game winning 3-point basket in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) reacts after hitting the game winning 3-point basket in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-baddde47530c7eb2dba339ca9eb7ff4d.jpg" alt="Photo - The Thunder celebrate the winning 3-point basket by Luguentz Dort (5) in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="The Thunder celebrate the winning 3-point basket by Luguentz Dort (5) in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>The Thunder celebrate the winning 3-point basket by Luguentz Dort (5) in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8a002986e1211e1ee00adb57f48d06eb.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Al Horford (42) shoots as San Antonio's Jakob Poeltl (25) and Luka Samanic (19) defends during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Al Horford (42) shoots as San Antonio's Jakob Poeltl (25) and Luka Samanic (19) defends during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Al Horford (42) shoots as San Antonio's Jakob Poeltl (25) and Luka Samanic (19) defends during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a17ab1d8e1d326df6cad3eea2e26561f.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) reacts after a 3-point basket in the first quarter during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) reacts after a 3-point basket in the first quarter during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) reacts after a 3-point basket in the first quarter during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-0b5fa4fdd12b97195fb50b20f1bb9b3e.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) defends against San Antonio's Trey Lyles (41) in the first quarter during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) defends against San Antonio's Trey Lyles (41) in the first quarter during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) defends against San Antonio's Trey Lyles (41) in the first quarter during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8d777f4fa7f19ffb9a950c462efacc1b.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes up for a basket as San Antonio's Lonnie Walker IV (1) defends during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes up for a basket as San Antonio's Lonnie Walker IV (1) defends during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes up for a basket as San Antonio's Lonnie Walker IV (1) defends during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-32ed57c22b8336281ef2f610de9c0dc9.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Darius Bazley (7) defends as San Antonio's Trey Lyles (41) goes up for a basket in the first quarter during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Darius Bazley (7) defends as San Antonio's Trey Lyles (41) goes up for a basket in the first quarter during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Darius Bazley (7) defends as San Antonio's Trey Lyles (41) goes up for a basket in the first quarter during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-06d94f9a5a1ae8fd022590061fa11978.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) reacts after hitting the game winning 3-point basket in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) reacts after hitting the game winning 3-point basket in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) reacts after hitting the game winning 3-point basket in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d09a2014b8cbaf399995a44f079eb95f.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) celebrates his winning 3-point basket with Darius Bazley (7) at the end of the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) celebrates his winning 3-point basket with Darius Bazley (7) at the end of the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) celebrates his winning 3-point basket with Darius Bazley (7) at the end of the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-021ce259ee54b0a54ac6be2bf8ae9ce4.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Justin Jackson (44) reacts after a 3-point basket in the first quarter during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Justin Jackson (44) reacts after a 3-point basket in the first quarter during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Justin Jackson (44) reacts after a 3-point basket in the first quarter during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a8eb3b1cca3035dc06cbcfdc07e8bf9f.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) celebrates his winning 3-point basket with Darius Bazley (7) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) at the end of the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) celebrates his winning 3-point basket with Darius Bazley (7) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) at the end of the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) celebrates his winning 3-point basket with Darius Bazley (7) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) at the end of the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1d38a21c1179a13abf3dda0d4002fa5e.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) tries to get around San Antonio's Patty Mills (8) in the second quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) tries to get around San Antonio's Patty Mills (8) in the second quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) tries to get around San Antonio's Patty Mills (8) in the second quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9289f934757a3f88d411373c923e10c6.jpg" alt="Photo - The Thunder celebrate the winning 3-point basket by Luguentz Dort (5) in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="The Thunder celebrate the winning 3-point basket by Luguentz Dort (5) in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>The Thunder celebrate the winning 3-point basket by Luguentz Dort (5) in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-baddde47530c7eb2dba339ca9eb7ff4d.jpg" alt="Photo - The Thunder celebrate the winning 3-point basket by Luguentz Dort (5) in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="The Thunder celebrate the winning 3-point basket by Luguentz Dort (5) in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>The Thunder celebrate the winning 3-point basket by Luguentz Dort (5) in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6b841fe87bd78e3f2aadbe88b4451100.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes up for a lay up in between San Antonio's Lonnie Walker IV (1), Dejounte Murray (5) and LaMarcus Aldridge (12) in the second quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes up for a lay up in between San Antonio's Lonnie Walker IV (1), Dejounte Murray (5) and LaMarcus Aldridge (12) in the second quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes up for a lay up in between San Antonio's Lonnie Walker IV (1), Dejounte Murray (5) and LaMarcus Aldridge (12) in the second quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-da5f838ec5761e6d6ae9d8100edf1dfc.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) goes up for a basket in the first quarter during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) goes up for a basket in the first quarter during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) goes up for a basket in the first quarter during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9fe4a1a5151b7febd738d09586dbb02d.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) goes up for a dunk during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) goes up for a dunk during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo (6) goes up for a dunk during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3521f8c31b7866c9b7223f30752a09e1.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) tries to get around San Antonio's Tre Jones (33) of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) tries to get around San Antonio's Tre Jones (33) of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) tries to get around San Antonio's Tre Jones (33) of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c8aa2bfd20711fe861ec0924d6095255.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Isaiah Roby (22) defends against San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) in the third quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Isaiah Roby (22) defends against San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) in the third quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Isaiah Roby (22) defends against San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) in the third quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7c712dd2fef31d08ee85a5268dc16c8e.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Isaiah Roby (22) passes the ball around San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) in the third quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Isaiah Roby (22) passes the ball around San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) in the third quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Isaiah Roby (22) passes the ball around San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (12) in the third quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-0e18a6377217fe63d5a1801c9ba1ad0e.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes to the basket as San Antonio's Patty Mills (8) during the third quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes to the basket as San Antonio's Patty Mills (8) during the third quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes to the basket as San Antonio's Patty Mills (8) during the third quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-73185a6a3b154c3e068e207816fc6c8b.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) looks to get around San Antonio's Keita Bates-Diop (31) in the third quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) looks to get around San Antonio's Keita Bates-Diop (31) in the third quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) looks to get around San Antonio's Keita Bates-Diop (31) in the third quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-fa4dd7149c9482a965f2f0af7b5351b8.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Al Horford (42) goes up for a basket as San Antonio's Jakob Poeltl (25) defends in the second quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Al Horford (42) goes up for a basket as San Antonio's Jakob Poeltl (25) defends in the second quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Al Horford (42) goes up for a basket as San Antonio's Jakob Poeltl (25) defends in the second quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9b0168e7f15e16de329997824f9a39ac.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) shoots a 3-point basket at San Antonio's Lonnie Walker IV (1) defends in the third quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) shoots a 3-point basket at San Antonio's Lonnie Walker IV (1) defends in the third quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) shoots a 3-point basket at San Antonio's Lonnie Walker IV (1) defends in the third quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-85a24325530f145f64f6f2b8ed0da0fa.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Al Horford (42) celebrates a San Antonio turnover in fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Al Horford (42) celebrates a San Antonio turnover in fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Al Horford (42) celebrates a San Antonio turnover in fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-af91886a030ee04fff7dc516d53449bd.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Al Horford (42) forces a jump ball with San Antonio's Dejounte Murray (5) of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Al Horford (42) forces a jump ball with San Antonio's Dejounte Murray (5) of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Al Horford (42) forces a jump ball with San Antonio's Dejounte Murray (5) of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6e282cf054e11c1f57f0361874eddea0.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) shoots a basket in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) shoots a basket in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) shoots a basket in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9fc01d5db5d7c58cbd23f464cfc08b95.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) goes to the basket in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) goes to the basket in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Luguentz Dort (5) goes to the basket in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8e4a770d23b7014a59da98369caf31f7.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes to the basket in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]" title="Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes to the basket in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]"><figcaption>Oklahoma City's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes to the basket in the fourth quarter of the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]</figcaption></figure>
    Berry Tramel

    Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... Read more ›

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