December 25th is a day intended for spending time with family, giving and receiving gifts, and being thankful for what the Good Lord has blessed us. For the Thunder family, Christmas Day means all of these things in one way or another.
For the seventh consecutive season, the Oklahoma City Thunder will play a Christmas Day game. This year, the Thunder plays the Minnesota Timberwolves at home. The Thunder’s current Christmas Day record is 4-2, 2-1 at home and 2-1 away, but win or loss, the Christmas Day contests have typically been exciting.
In Oklahoma City’s first Christmas Day game in 2010, the Thunder hosted the Denver Nuggets in an exciting 114-106 win. Oklahoma City trailed early in that game, but the Thunder roared back in the second quarter and pulled ahead in the second half.
The 2011 Christmas Day game was actually the season opener for the Thunder, due to the NBA lockout, as they played Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic at home. The Thunder won 97-89 to start an incredibly successful season that would end in a 4-1 NBA Finals loss to the Miami Heat.
The Thunder played the Miami Heat on Christmas Day in 2012, an NBA Finals rematch that was lived up to expectations. The game was close the entire time, but the Heat hung on for a 103-97 win to drop Oklahoma City’s Christmas Day record to 2-1.
The Thunder’s 2013 Christmas Day game was far less exciting than the previous three, as Oklahoma City absolutely destroyed the Knicks in New York 123-94, the worst loss by a home team in Christmas Day history.
In 2014, the Christmas Day game between Oklahoma City and the San Antonio Spurs featured an injury-depleted team for the Thunder, but Russell Westbrook led the way in San Antonio finishing with 34 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds, and 5 steals as the Thunder won 114-106.
This last season’s Christmas Day game was a piece of coal in the stocking, so to speak. Oklahoma City hosted the Chicago Bulls in a game that started close, but ended in a near blowout. The Thunder trailed the Bulls by two at half, but Chicago pulled away in the third quarter to take a big lead that they never relinquished, defeating Oklahoma City 105-96.
This year on Christmas Day, the Oklahoma City Thunder will host a young, but talented, Minnesota Timberwolves squad. In a game featuring Russell Westbrook, Victor Oladipo, Zach Lavine, and Andrew Wiggins, there should be plenty of high-flying dunks for fans to enjoy. Hopefully the Thunder will be in the giving spirit and give Thunder fans a reason to celebrate as they hand the Timberwolves a Christmas Day loss.
Article written by Zack Low. Follow @thethunderguys on Twitter.