#ThunderUp Fall To #MFFL In A Game Filled With Runs On A Very Emotional Night; How The Thunder and Players Honored Kobe Bryant (Video) – BlackSportsOnline
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#ThunderUp Fall To #MFFL In A Game Filled With Runs On A Very Emotional Night; How The Thunder and Players Honored Kobe Bryant (Video)

Oklahoma City – Tonight was very a very emotional night for everyone in the arena as the Oklahoma City Thunder hosted the Dallas Mavericks. The fans, the players, coaches, and those in the media. NBA legend and Laker great Kobe Bryant passed away on Sunday in a horrible tragedy that not only took his life, but also took the life of his 13 year old daughter and 7 others.

The NBA is mourning. The world is mourning.

If the NBA would have rescheduled tonights Thunder game fans would have understood. However, it wasn’t rescheduled and the players had to somehow put their sadness aside and play the game that Kobe loved so much.

Coming into tonight, the Thunder had a 5 game winning streak and looked to make it 6 against the Mavericks. It was going to be tough because the Thunder were already without starting SF Terrance Ferguson and backup PF Abdel Nader due to injuries and starting PG Chris Paul due to personal reasons.

With the passing of Kobe Bryant, every single team found a way to honor him and the Thunder and Mavericks weren’t any different. The Thunder had a picture of Kobe on the marquee outside the arena all day and night, handed out purple and gold ribbons to honor him, and held a moment of silence before the game. Almost every player warming up had on a pair of Kobes. Luka Doncic, who is a Jordan Brand athlete, even went against brand rules and played in Nike Kobe V Chaos’ with RIP Kobe on one shoe and RIP Gigi on the other. When the game tipped off, just like every other team in the league, both the Mavs took violation turnovers with the Mavs taking a 24 second violation turnover and the Thunder taking a backcourt 8 second violation. 24 and 8 are the numbers Kobe wore during his career. After the Thunder 8 second violation, the fans broke out into a very loud KOBE chant. It was nice.

The game itself seems like it didn’t really matter. Both teams played but it felt like it wasn’t really happening.

The beginning started off as an offensive struggle for both teams. Neither could seem to put the ball in the basket and both shot poorly. Mavs were 9-25 (36%) and the Thunder were 7-23 (30.4%) but the Mavs hit 5 threes in the first and that was enough to give them a lead.

The offense picked up for both teams at the beginning of the second quarter but eventually tapered off for the Thunder while the Mavs kept going.

Mavs eventually grew their lead to 16 with a strong night from Luka Doncic who had 29 points (on 24 shots), 11 rebounds, and 5 assists.

The Thunder would fight back going on multiple scoring runs to get the Mavs lead down to 5 and 6 a couple of times but the Mavs went on their runs to build their lead back up. The Thunder didn’t stop fighting til the final buzzer but the Mavs lead was too much to overcome with bad shooting nights from Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Dennis Schroeder without Chris Paul.

The Thunder were lead by Dennis Schroeder who had 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander contributed 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists while Danillo Gallinari contributed 14 points. 5 rebounds, and 6 assists.

Thunder will try and recover from this loss and start a new winning streak on Wednesday night as the travel to Sacramento to take on the Kings.

This night was very emotional for me and I’m extremely glad the game was played. I grew up a Kobe Bryant stan. I’m devastated by his passing. I at first didn’t want to cover the game and wanted to stay home and sulk in my sadness. However, even though I’ve never met Kobe, I know he would be mad if I didn’t do my job and cover the game. That mamba mentality kicked in. When I got to the arena and started speaking with members of the media and we started sharing stories, it made me feel a lot better.

Doing something I loved and am passionate about is what Kobe would have wanted and it made me feel better knowing I was applying the same mentality he used every single day of his life with literally everything.

Flip the page to see how Kobe was honored, highlights, and players speak about him.

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