The Washington Wizards‘ win on Sunday over the Oklahoma City Thunder was important not just because it brought them to three games out of the final playoff spot in the East. It was also their first ever win in Oklahoma City. It took them 10 chances, but the Wizards are finally on the board.
The Wizards had come close before with three losses in overtime or double overtime, but they couldn’t quite make it happen until Sunday. And it’s not like the Wizards have been consistently bad since 2008, they were 6-5 against the Thunder at home and haven’t had a losing record since the 2012-13 season.
The Wizards also played two games in Oklahoma City when the then-New Orleans Hornets were temporarily displaced because of Hurricane Katrina. But they even lost both of those games in 2006 and 2007.
Now the Philadelphia 76ers are the only team in the NBA who have yet to win at Chesapeake Energy Arena. They’ll have a 10th crack at the Thunder on February 28.
The Wizards aren’t the only team to struggle in OKC
Although the 76ers have yet to win against the Thunder in Oklahoma City, they did win a game against the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets in January 2007. But no matter how you count it, they haven’t won in the Sooner State in over a decade.
Meanwhile, four other teams only have two wins in OKC in the decade-plus since the Thunder relocated from Seattle. The Charlotte Hornets are 2-9 with their first win coming in April 2017. The New York Knicks also come in at 2-9 but first won in April 2013, while the Detroit Pistons are 2-8 with their first win coming in November 2014.
Perhaps most embarrassing of all though are the Sacramento Kings, who lost their first 15 contests in Oklahoma City. They are 2-17 overall on the road against the Thunder with their first win coming on Jan. 4, 2016.
The 76ers may still be looking for their first win in OKC, but it seems unlikely that they’ll drop their next six matchups to tie the Kings’ ignominious mark with the young core of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler.
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