The Oklahoma City Thunder face a must-win Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals tonight at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
The Thunder are down 2-games-to-none in the best-of-seven series against the San Antonio Spurs, a team that has won 20 straight games, including 10 straight in the playoffs.
Oklahoma City has to find a way to disrupt the machine that is the San Antonio offense. The Spurs have seemed to make all the right decisions and all the right counter-moves to everything that is thrown their way.
In Game 1, Oklahoma City had a nine-point lead heading to the fourth quarter before the Spurs erupted for 39 fourth-quarter points en route to a 101-98 victory. In Game 2, it was the third quarter in which it all fell apart. The Thunder fell behind by 22 points before making a furious fourth-quarter rally that fell short.
Thursday night's game will come down to whether Oklahoma City can feed off the home crowd and play more above the rim. If San Antonio keeps the Thunder in a half-court game, OKC could be facing elimination on Saturday.
In the history of the NBA, only six percent of teams that have fallen behind 0-2 in a best of seven playoff series have come back to win the series. None have ever come back from 0-3.
Tonight is also the first game in Oklahoma City without the traditional "Thunder Alley" watch party in which thousands of fans watched the games on the big screen outside the arena. A nearby shooting following the Thunder's close-out victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on May 21st forced that tradition to come to an end over security concerns.
Tonight's game starts at 8 p.m. and can be seen on TNT.