Thunder vs. Lakers Preview: Goodbye, Black Mamba


Monday, April 11th 2016, 7:28 am
By: News 9


The Thunder got to be a part of history on Saturday night in Sacramento when the Kings closed out Sleep Train Arena after 28 years of basketball. The Kings won that game 114-112 and earned a tremendous celebration in front of a sold-out house that included former players cutting the nets as if they were going to the Final Four.

Oklahoma City will play host to an even bigger piece of history on Monday night – the final road game of Kobe Bryant’s career. The future Hall-of-Famer will suit up in a visiting locker room for the final time in his NBA career, and he’ll do it at Chesapeake Arena.

This game, just like the Thunder’s contest against the Kings, has very little to do with basketball. Saturday was about something bigger for the city of Sacramento, and Monday will be about saying goodbye to one of the NBA’s greatest.

The Lakers (16-64) are suffering through the worst season in franchise history and dealing with a young, immature roster. The Thunder (54-26) already have the West’s No. 3 playoff spot wrapped up, so a win isn’t necessary, although it'll probably happen anyway.

Bryant has done his best to take the floor in every road game down the stretch of the season in order to give fans in opposing cities an opportunity to not only see him play one more time, but to say goodbye. This is one of just a handful of guys remaining in the league who actually suited up in the 1990s. This picture will give you a great look at just how long Kobe's been around.

Bryant’s final visit to Houston on Sunday saw a vintage performance – 35 points on just 22 shots – and a familiar result, a 130-110 loss for Los Angeles. Don’t expect to see Bryant play heavy minutes on Monday night as he’s on the second night of a back-to-back and wants to make sure he has plenty in the tank for Wednesday’s home finale against the Jazz.

Monday’s game will be extra fun because it will feature a man who is actually on pace to pass Bryant for third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Bryant, scorer of 33,570 points, has done so in 20 NBA seasons. He trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone in total points. However, Kevin Durant has scored more than 17,500 points in this just his ninth season. This will be a prime chance to watch two of the best to ever do it go at it on the same floor.

If you want to go see it, it’ll cost you a bit. The cheapest ticket on StubHub! as of 7 a.m. was going for $103. But that's relatively cheap if you compare it to Bryant's final game on Wednesday in Los Angeles. Cheapest ticket there? $822.

Tip from Chesapeake Arena is set for 7 p.m. Adios, Mamba.

Bryant’s final visit to Houston on Sunday saw a vintage performance – 35 points on just 22 shots – and a familiar result, a 130-110 loss for Los Angeles. Don’t expect to see Bryant play heavy minutes on Monday night as he’s on the second night of a back-to-back and wants to make sure he has plenty in the tank for Wednesday’s home finale against the Jazz.

Monday’s game will be extra fun because it will feature a man who is actually on pace to pass Bryant for third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Bryant, scorer of 33,570 points, has done so in 20 NBA seasons. He trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone in total points. However, Kevin Durant has scored more than 17,500 points in this just his ninth season. This will be a prime chance to watch two of the best to ever do it go at it on the same floor.

If you want to go see it, it’ll cost you a bit. The cheapest ticket on StubHub! as of 7 a.m. was going for $103. But that's relatively cheap if you compare it to Bryant's final game on Wednesday in Los Angeles. Cheapest ticket there? $822.

Tip from Chesapeake Arena is set for 7 p.m. Adios, Mamba.

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Oklahoma City will play host to a big piece of history on Monday night – the final road game of Kobe Bryant’s career.

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