Tuesday night, in a spectacular midseason matchup, the 32-9 Oklahoma City Thunder pay a visit to the 32-10 Los Angeles Clippers. The contest at Staples Center will feature the teams that currently possess the NBA’s two best records.
Remarkably, the highly anticipated game will be OKC’s second of three trips to Los Angeles, during the month of January alone. On January 11, the Thunder cruised to a 116-101 victory over the struggling Los Angeles Lakers. Following Tuesday’s game with LA’s suddenly more powerful squad (the Clippers), the defending Western Conference champions will embark on yet another stopover through the City of Angels, this upcoming Sunday afternoon, in a nationally televised rematch with the Lakers.
Every time the team from the Sooner State makes a business trip to the US’s second largest city, the Thunder set up shop in the coastal community of Santa Monica. The team elects to stay at the Hotel Casa Del Mar, while conducting practices and shootarounds at nearby Santa Monica High School.
Tuesday morning, iFolloSports.com captured video of many members of the team arriving back to the hotel, shortly after the conclusion of morning shootaround. Above is an original clip of Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Kevin Martin (OKC’s top three scorers) exiting the charter bus, before reentering the luxury property, eight hours in advance of tipoff.
Westbrook and Durant, in particular, received the highest level of attention from the assembled gathering Los Angeles NBA fans. Not surprisingly, Westbrook (NBA’s fifth leading assist man) and Durant (three-time NBA scoring champion/current scoring leader) are among the league’s most sought-after and recognized players, in virtually every NBA city they set foot in. Without question, the Thunder are and will continue to be among professional basketball’s most marquee franchises, for many more years to come.