SBD/May 31, 2012/Franchises

OKC's Thunder Alley To Operate In "Regular Season Form" For Spurs-Thunder Game Three

With the exception of more police officers in and around Chesapeake Energy Arena and Bricktown, Thunder Alley "should otherwise resemble its regular season form" tonight for the Spurs-Thunder NBA Western Conference Finals Game Three, according to Michael Kimball of the OKLAHOMAN. The video board outside the arena "won't show a live broadcast of the game," and Oklahoma City officials "expect that alone will make the crowd much smaller than the 6,000 people who gathered" to watch the Thunder-Lakers Western Conference Semifinals Game Five. But the police presence "will be increased nonetheless." Thunder VP/Communications & Community Relations Dan Mahoney said that Thunder Alley "will follow the regular season model" and that extracurricular events at the watch party "will end when the game starts" (OKLAHOMAN, 5/30). The OKLAHOMAN's Kimball noted the Thunder tonight are "holding a fundraiser" for Norman Richards II, the man critically wounded in the Bricktown shooting. Richards "remains hospitalized after being shot in the back shortly after" Thunder-Lakers Game Five on May 21. Fans attending tonight's game "can participate in a raffle and auction to help Richards and his family pay for medical bills and other expenses" (NEWSOK.com, 5/30).

BITTERSWEET:
In San Antonio, Buck Harvey wrote, "A lot of people in the Seattle area will be rooting for the Spurs to extend their winning streak to at least 22. At the same time, those in Seattle wish they could root for this Thunder roster as their own" (MYSANANTONIO.com, 5/30).
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