Wednesday night was a night of honor, reunions, and thousands of Thunder fans gathering in Chesapeake Energy Arena, not only to enjoy a night of basketball, but also to recognize a Thunder great in Nick Collison as his No. 4 jersey was officially retired as the first Thunder jersey to be put on display.
It’s just too bad it didn’t come with a Thunder win.
The Oklahoma City Thunder clawed their way back into a game that once saw a 19-point deficit as Mr. Thunder and his family sat courtside to witness the action, but even with overtime, the Thunder went cold on offense after regulation and were outscored 13-4 by the Raptors to finish the night with a fourth straight loss falling to the Raptors 123-114.
This four-game losing streak is the third time this Thunder team has faced such a streak seeing as they started the season 0-4 and had another four-game losing streak from Feb. 23 to March 2.
For a team that once sat comfortably in the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference standings, this streak has pushed the Thunder back to the eight seed where their chances of facing Golden State in the first round of playoffs becomes more and more prevalent.
Russell Westbrook rejoined the team after having to sit out of Monday night’s loss to the Heat serving his one-game suspension after receiving his 16th technical foul during the Thunder’s matchup with Golden State this past Saturday.
Westbrook led the Thunder with 42 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists shooting 16-29 from the floor, 5-10 from the 3-point line, and had the game-tying layup with 4.8 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
Paul George, though he hasn’t been the same player he was a few months ago after dealing with shoulder injuries, made two crucial 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to pull the Thunder out of a hole and present themselves with an opportunity to win the game. George finished with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists.
As there usually is, there was one major factor of the game that in the end hurt the Thunder; free throws.
The Thunder, given multiple opportunities to go to the free throw line seeing as Toronto fouled 27 times, started the game going 3-10 from the free throw line, and the uncontested shooting woes continued throughout the game as the Thunder finished 15-29 from the charity stripe.
All in all, the Thunder may have dropped another game on their home court, but guys like Steven Adams were in good spirits following the game when asked about Nick Collison’s ceremony, which overpowered the game on its own.
“Oh it was beautiful,” Adams said in his postgame presser. “It was really good from the organization to retire his jersey. It says a lot about them. But yeah, it was a really good night for him. I miss him, and it was a beautiful moment for him.”
The Thunder remain in the eight seed in conference standings below the Los Angeles Clippers and the San Antonio Spurs and fall to 42-30 in the season.
Next up for the Thunder is a rematch against the Raptors, but this time in Toronto on Friday night. The Thunder won’t return home until Wednesday, March 27, where the Indiana Pacers will be in town for the second matchup against the Thunder this month.
Watch below for a Thunder postgame wrap-up including postgame comments from Steven Adams, Russell Westbrook, and Paul George.