Chris McKinnon, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Thousands of fans poured into the Chesapeake Energy Arena for the Christmas Day kickoff to the new NBA season. The Oklahoma City Thunder did not disappoint.
They started off right and brought a win to their fans who said the game was the place to be on Christmas, as they chanted "Go Thunder" and "Thunder Up!"
Many wondered for months if there would even be a pro basketball season this year. Sunday night, game one was in the books for the Thunder. Oklahoma City took care of the Orlando Magic 97 to 89.
The Thunder definitely delivered a gift to Oklahoma City fans with the win, but on top of that, they surprised two military families by bringing home two soldiers who were serving overseas.
The families were reunited at center court during half time to a standing ovation. The emotional moment was the highlight of the night for many, especially the families involved.
Keeping with the Christmas theme of the day, the Thunder staff decked out Thunder Alley with Christmas decorations. They even made it snow.
Earlier in the day, fans not lucky enough to have the tickets to the game lined up in the cold. They were out there hours before the doors to the arena even opened. They were hoping to score their tickets to the season opener for free in a drawing. They said it was worth waiting out in the cold to support their home team.
Fans at the game were excited to finally see the Thunder hit the court. Many had high expectations from the team, an NBA championship.
The Thunder will be back in action at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Thursday, December 29 against the Dallas Mavericks.