Aside from the game, it was a terrific night at the Ford Center. Per Dogbert's suggestion, I'm going to try something a bit different and give you "Three Things You Might Have Missed" if you were watching on TV.
3. Serge Ibaka Kissing the Ball
Okay, so we all know about Dwight Howard's antics when at the free throw line, especially when it comes to verbally asking the ball not to go into the basket when an opponent shoots it. But Serge Ibaka is known to be a bit of a character himself, so he gave his own spin on ball hexing. Rather than talk to the ball, in the first half while the Knicks were at the free throw line, Serge Ibaka kissed the ball. Simple and not too flashy, yet just as effective and hilarious. The shot went in, but I appreciated the laugh among the usually serious Thunder.
2. Premature Confetti
I don't know why, but I really like technical errors. Sometimes I'll be watching TV and notice something really subtle like a misspelling in an on-screen caption or a minor replay error and get a huge kick out of it. Needless to say, I had lots of fun with the early KSBI Thunder broadcasts. Regardless, tonight was another good moment, as in the closing moments of the fourth quarter, somebody hit the wrong button and released the "Thunder Win" confetti. It was during a dead ball, so players didn't start slipping on paper. But everybody in the arena was slow to realize what happened. The Knicks were ready to inbound the ball, the Thunder were ready to defend, and the crowd continued to chant "DEE-FENSE!". But as I and the head referee quickly realized, the thin confetti paper was going to eventually hit the court, possibly causing players to slip. He stopped play, and several Thunder employees ran onto the floor to pick up some of the stray confetti. It wasn't anything too major, but it was fun to watch unfold and helped to distract from the seriousness of the game.
Below: The #1 Thing You Missed!
1. Mascot Night
Entertainment-wise, it's my favourite night of the year. Several NBA mascots were out on the floor tonight to celebrate Rumble's second birthday, and it was great to see them all. There was a dunk contest at halftime which ended with Rumble dunking over everyone, and there was a segment with the "air" versions of all of the mascots. The night was kind of a disappointment compared to the last two birthdays (less fan interaction, less crowd reaction, not as extreme shows), but every time I see those mascots out on the floor having a massive party, I have a wide smile on my face, and fee like I'm 10 years old all over again. Mascots rule.