OKC Thunder appears twice in All-Decade top 8 games list with controversial selections

Russell Westbrook of the OKC Thunder celebrates after hitting the game winner vs. Nuggets and breaking Oscar Robertson's triple-double record on April 9, 2017 (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook of the OKC Thunder celebrates after hitting the game winner vs. Nuggets and breaking Oscar Robertson's triple-double record on April 9, 2017 (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images) /

All-Decade lists are in the news as ESPN got in on the action serving up their top eight games of the 2010s. The OKC Thunder are featured with two matches.

Sports Illustrated spent a week serving up their All-Decade lists. Thunderous Intentions covered many of the lists with our insights on the best 3-point snipers, the greatest feuds, and best NBA Finals to name a few. ESPN is getting in on the action with the eight best games of the 2010s. A commonality of all the lists is the OKC Thunder are well represented and in this case, they make the list with two of the eight best games.

Unfortunately, the games selected don’t feature the Thunder in their best light. The panel’s selections make sense as to why they made the list but there are so many others ESPN could’ve selected. The Orlando Magic and OKC Thunder could easily have produced a couple of games on their own. Remember the October 30, 2015, double-overtime game when Westbrook hit a 3-point shot at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime?

That match ended with Russell Westbrook scoring 48 points and 11 rebounds while Kevin Durant scored 43 points and added 12 rebounds. Victor Oladipo was spectacular in that game which may have been the reason Sam Presti traded for him the following summer.

Or how about the Thunder game versus the Denver Nuggets when Westbrook got the triple-double that would break Oscar Robertson‘s record? That match was incredible as Westbrook scored 50 points, got his 42nd triple-double led his team back from a deficit and single-handedly ended the Nuggets playoff hopes.

What made the match even more impressive was the Nuggets crowd were chanting MVP to Russ. Incredibly classy for the fans who just witnessed their postseason hopes dashed but they still showered Westbrook with chants of MVP.

The ending was crazy as Westbrook rose up with no time on the clock to hit a deep 3-ball to grab the one-point victory for the OKC Thunder.

Ultimately the two OKC Thunder games which made ESPN were both games against the Golden State Warriors, one in the regular season and one in the postseason. Here’s the full list of eight games:

No. 8:

Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference finals between the  Heat and  Celtics, (June 7, 2012)

No. 7:

Game 4 of the 2011 playoffs between the Mavericks and Trail Blazers, (April 23, 2011)

No. 6:

Golden State Warriors vs. OKC Thunder  (regular season, Feb. 27, 2016)

"The Warriors were the burgeoning juggernaut, winners of 52 of their first 57 games. The Thunder were maybe their greatest threat to immortality, a springy, rangy, athletic team with top-shelf talent. In front of a juiced crowd producing decibels normally reserved for mid-May, the ample amount of star power was on full display."

This was the game when Stephen Curry was on absolute fire from deep hitting 12 treys in all including the dagger 3-ball from just past half court.

No. 5:

Jazz vs. Lakers (regular season April 13, 2016)

No. 4:

Game 2 of the 2011 NBA Finals between the Mavericks and Heat  (June 2, 2011)

No. 3:

Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Western Conference Finals between the Warriors and OKC Thunder (May 28, 2016)

Before pulling up the article for some reason I just knew this game was going to make the list and immediately felt angst. This was the game that ended the golden era in OKC. Klay Thompson was on fire while the refs (depending on your bias) seemingly forced Andre Roberson out of the game with questionable calls. It wasn’t the game that ended the series but given what happened just five weeks later it sure did raise a ton of questions in hindsight.

Durant bolted to join the club who had just won 73 games and who his Thunder had on the ropes 3-1 prior to their incredible comeback. The fanbase was blindsided, Westbrook felt shafted and when reports surfaced KD had been colluding all year to join the Dubs many questioned Durant’s performance in the final three games of the series.

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No. 2:

Game 7 of 2016 NBA Finals between the Cavaliers and Warriors (June 19, 2016)

This game cemented Durant’s defection since a win by the Warriors. If the Dubs had won KD may have thought twice about joining them. It was bad enough they had 73 wins in 2016 and a two time MVP, but if they were also the champs the shade he got for joining them would’ve been even greater, especially from former players and pundits.

No. 1:

Game 6 of 2013 NBA Finals between the Spurs and Heat (June 18, 2013)

To each his/her own, but this last choice for me is controversial. So many questionable no calls occurred in the closing seconds of this match. It resulted in the Heat going to game 7 and LeBron getting another ring but it felt like the referees played a big part in the victory. The final game which clinched the Spurs title a year later was a blowout and it’s surprisingly doesn’t make the list.  That game was one of the most beautiful examples of team ball this scribe has ever seen.

Next. Westbrook Top 10 list from historic triple-double season. dark

Well, there you have the list and TI’s thoughts on the OKC Thunder selections. Which games do you think should’ve made the list? Let us know in the comments section.