NBA Releases Remainder of 2020 Thunder Schedule

By Nick Gallo | Broadcast Reporter & Digital Editor |

On Friday evening the NBA announced the full schedule – opponents, dates, times and broadcasting information for all 22 teams that will be resuming the 2020 season in Orlando, including the Thunder.

As the return-to-play scenario was unveiled, the Thunder understood that its eight-game schedule would look similar to what was immediately lined up in the remaining 18 games of the regular season that were supposed to tip off in March and April. On Friday, the NBA tabbed the Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat and LA Clippers as the Thunder’s opponents in the seeding games that will take place between July 30 and August 14.

Below is a breakdown of each game, the time it will air and some information about each opponent. All eight games will be broadcast on television on Fox Sports Oklahoma and on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM the Sports Animal and the Thunder Radio Network.

WATCH: Thunder in Orlando

Saturday, August 1, 2:30 PM CT: Thunder (40-24) vs. Utah Jazz (41-23)
Season Series Recap (1-1): This will be a reunion of the two teams that were in Chesapeake Energy Arena when the entire NBA world, and a lot of the entire nation, stopped on a dime in realization of the seriousness of COVID-19. These two teams nearly tipped off and began its game on March 11, but the contest was stopped at the last second due to a positive COVID test within the Jazz organization.

The Thunder went 1-1 against the Jazz in the regular season, with both games coming in Salt Lake City. The first matchup was a close opening night loss for OKC, when this Thunder team that was just embarking on the process of learning one another. Later, in December, the Thunder blitzed the Jazz and silenced the Utah crowd with a 14-point victory. Even without two normal starters, the Thunder got a double-double from Steven Adams and a lights-out 27-point effort from Dennis Schröder off the bench.

Monday August 3, 3:00 PM CT: Thunder (40-24) vs. Denver Nuggets (43-22)
Season Series Recap (1-1): The Thunder was the only Northwest Division team this season to beat the Denver Nuggets, splitting the season series 1-1 against the division leader. While the Thunder had two more matchups with the Nuggets remaining on the original schedule, it will face Denver just once during the seeding games.

The last time these squads met it was the first game back from the All-Star Break and the Thunder mopped up Denver with a 113-101 victory at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Chris Paul led the way with 29 points and Steven Adams added a 19-point, 17-rebound double-double while 7 Thunder players scored in double figures.

Wednesday August 5, 5:30 PM CT: Thunder (40-24) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (49-14)
Season Series Recap (0-3): The Thunder faced the Lakers three times in the regular season, including a home-and-home set on November 19 and November 22. OKC lost both games, but by just eight total points combined. After a breakneck stretch of games every other night and wins in 11 of 13 games from mid-December through mid-January, the Thunder hosted a shorthanded Lakers squad that took OKC by surprise.

Despite going 0-3 against the Lakers before the hiatus, the Thunder has shown the ability to hang tough with the size, strength and veteran experience of the Lakers, who hold the best record in the Western Conference.

Friday August 7, 3:00 PM CT: Thunder (40-24) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (32-33)
Season Series Recap (1-1): These two teams played in one of the most thrilling comebacks of a Thunder season that was filled with sensational come-from-behind victories. The young, upstart Grizzlies, led by rookie point guard Ja Morant, were up by 24 points on the Thunder in the third quarter of a mid-December game at Chesapeake Energy Arena, but OKC rallied back thanks to a 31-point showing from Schröder off the bench while Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander chipped in 20 points apiece. After the entire team suited up together for their entrance to the arena that night, they left the floor in style as well.

Sunday August 9, 11:30 AM CT: Thunder (40-24) vs. Washington Wizards (24-40)
Season Series Recap (0-1): OKC hadn’t seen the Wizards since the second game of the season, part of a bumpy 1-4 start for the Thunder right out of the gates. The Thunder dropped that one matchup with Washington due to an offense that dried up in the fourth quarter when it scored just 15 points. Shooting just 5-of-23 (21.7 percent) from three and 39.8 percent overall was too much for the Thunder to overcome despite a breakout 28-point performance by Gilgeous-Alexander.

Monday August 10, 1:30 PM CT: Thunder (40-24) vs. Phoenix Suns (26-39)
Season Series Recap (2-0): With a blowout 18-point victory at home and a tight 4-point win on the road, the Thunder went 2-0 against the Suns in its two meetings this year. The most recent of the two games came on January 31 when Head Coach Billy Donovan’s club held off the Suns in what was a back-and-forth game throughout. The largest lead by either team was 10 points, but Phoenix led by 7 with just 4:22 to go before the Thunder used a 13-0 run to pull ahead for good.

Wednesday August 12, 7:00 PM CT: Thunder (40-24) vs. Miami Heat (41-24)
Season Series Recap (0-1): The Thunder hasn’t lost more than two consecutive games since Thanksgiving, but it’s one meeting against Miami was one of those times since then that the Thunder suffered a second straight loss. While the Thunder shot 39.1 percent from three-point range, it came on 46 attempts from behind the arc, well-above its normal game plan for long range jumpers. On the other end of the floor, the Thunder struggled to get stops against a crisp Miami offense that uses skilled bigs like Bam Adebayo to generate passing and movement. After that loss, the Thunder won 17 of its next 22 games.

Friday August 14, Time TBD: Thunder (40-24) vs. LA Clippers (44-20)
Season Series Recap (1-2): The Clippers were the last team to beat the Thunder in the 2019-20 regular season, a 15-point defeat led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the starting group and Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams off the bench.

In the other two meetings this year, however, the Thunder gave the Clippers all it could handle. LA escaped with a narrow 2-point win as a last second shot by Danilo Gallinari went awry in the first matchup of the year, but in December OKC ripped off a remarkable comeback from 18 points down. Gilgeous-Alexander scored a career-high 32 points, while Adams notched 20 points and 17 rebounds in a 118-112 win.

As a reminder, with a 40-24 record in the regular season and an 8.5 game lead on the current eighth place team in the Western Conference, the currently fifth-seeded Thunder has clinched a spot in the playoffs that will follow the seeding games. This will be the 10th playoff appearance in the past 11 seasons for Oklahoma City. The playoff games will follow the typical format, with three rounds of seven-game series in each conference to whittle eight teams down to one. The conference champions will then meet in the NBA Finals in early October.


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