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OKLAHOMA CITY — The faces were familiar. The memories shared were special. Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams’ thoughts of Billy Donovan are still meaningful to him three years after leaving Oklahoma City following the tragic loss of his wife Ingrid.

Three years ago, the Sooner State found out the hard, cruel truth about their only major professional team.

OKLAHOMA CITY — The series between the Thunder and Trail Blazers — which includes at least one more game, beginning at 9:30 tonight, inside Moda Center — is playing out on different levels.

OKLAHOMA CITY — The best hope Thunder Nation has as it ponders Game 3, an absolute must-win as the Oklahoma City-Portland series moves into Chesapeake Energy Arena for at least two more tussles, is its ability to believe in Paul George.

Even though they would eventually shed the final year of Carmelo Anthony’s contract, turning it into the acquisition of Dennis Schroder, the Thunder knew the signing of Paul George to a max contract last offseason meant they’d be paying a whole lot of money in salary and the luxury tax.

OKLAHOMA CITY — On the day Nick Collison’s No. 4 was raised to the Chesapeake Energy Arena rafters, marking 14 selfless seasons with the franchise that became the Oklahoma City Thunder, the sentence he uttered in which his voice first cracked was this:

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Because Paul George made a corner 3 with about four minutes remaining that made them believe, Thunder fans did not depart early.

An offensive foul was called away from he ball with 3:09 remaining in the third quarter when Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook stepped a couple feet outside the boundaries of the court in Denver Tuesday night. That's when a very young fan, standing up from his seat, used his left hand to poke Westbrook’s right arm.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Surrounded by reporters, a larger than usual throng there to see him for the first time or simply starved for post All-Star break access, Markieff Morris smiled.

Russell Westbrook will make is eighth All-Star appearance. New Orleans has an All-Star for the sixth straight year.

This Week's Circulars

Obituaries

88, Homemaker. Died January 15, 2020. The Visitation is 5:00-7:00 pm Monday. The Funeral service is at 1:00 pm Tuesday at the Kingdom Hall, 1102 North Pierce Avenue, Wagoner. Mallett Funeral Home and Crematory.

87, formerly of Muskogee, Real Estate Broker, died Friday 12/27/2019. Memorial service, 10AM Tuesday, 01/21/2020 at Clifford D Garrett Family Funeral Home Chapel, Fort Gibson. Clifford D Garrett Family Funeral Home. Online condolences clifforddgarrettfamilyfh.com

87, formerly of Muskogee, Real Estate Broker, died Friday 12/27/2019. Memorial service, 10AM Tuesday, 01/21/2020 at Clifford D Garrett Family Funeral Home Chapel, Fort Gibson. Clifford D Garrett Family Funeral Home. Online condolences clifforddgarrettfamilyfh.com