Thunder Need To Closeout Tonight

By Randy Renner

After clobbering the Portland Trail Blazers last night and ending their second round series, the San Antonio Spurs are just hangin' out now, watching and waiting.

And resting.

And that's the primary reason the Thunder need to end things tonight in Los Angeles with the Clippers.

They can't cut the Spurs break any shorter by winning tonight because the Western Conference Finals won't tipoff any earlier than Monday, but by winning tonight the Thunder can catch their breaths and then spend a little time focusing on the Spurs.

If the Thunder lose tonight, Game 7 awaits back here in OKC on Sunday and the WCF will be put off a couple of days, till Wednesday.

It will be fascinating to watch how the Clippers will bounce back from their collapse on Tuesday night and what Doc Rivers called a "horrendous" officiating call and may end up being "a series defining call."

By the way the NBA said the not reversing the call on the floor was the CORRECT call. The NBA agreed with the officiating crew that the television replays were inconclusive and did not provide any basis to overturn the out-of-bounds call that the ball to the Thunder.

The Clippers could come out deflated and flat or fired up and determined not to leave anything in the hands of the officials.

Who knows how they'll be.

The Thunder can't afford to see what kind of mood their opponents are in. When the Thunder play like they're capable of playing the Clippers haven't been able to hang in there.

That's why the Thunder have to go into this game with the mindset to end things tonight and not be relaxed (there's that word again) knowing they have the hole card of Game 7 at home.

Game 7s can be dicey. Desperate times for both teams, everything on the line, anything can happen, no cushion, no hole cards left. Don't really wanna go there, home game or not.

WATCH PARTY

If you're looking for a fun spot to watch the game tonight come hang out with us at the new Aloft Hotel in Deep Duece just north of Bricktown. It's at 2nd and Walnut and the entire InsideThunder.com crew will be inside the Wxyz Club.

I'll be at the ballpark to watch the first few innings of the Bedlam baseball game tonight then will head over to the hotel around 9. Tipoff will be around 9:30 to 9:45 depeding on how late the Indiana-Washington game goes.

You can meet Sam Murch, she'll be talking to fans and Torrey Purvey, J Grizzle and Ryan Plunkett will be there too shooting some photos and videos that we will post right here.

Should be a GREAT time and thanks to the gang at the Aloft Hotel for hosting us.