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Thunder Gameday: Oklahoma City Welcomes Philadelphia in Home Opener

In their home opener at the Paycom Center, the OKC Thunder will take on the Philadelphia 76ers amidst their drama surrounding Ben Simmons.
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The Oklahoma City Thunder have had a rough start to the season, dropping both of their first two games by a combined 54 points. On Sunday night, they'll have their third game of the season, this time against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Even without Ben Simmons in the lineup, the Sixers will still be heavy favorites. It will be the home opener for the Thunder and their first ever regular season game in the newly-named Paycom Center. 

Fans will be in the stands in Oklahoma City for the first time since March of 2019, when the NBA shut down.

ODDS: 

The Thunder enter the day as 7.5-point underdogs to the Sixers, and the total over/under is 216.5 points.

KEYS TO THE GAME: 

The Thunder have struggled tremendously from beyond the arc this season. In any NBA game, teams have a real chance to win when they convert on a high percentage of their 3-point shots. 

To this point in the season, that hasn't happened, as OKC has shot 26.9% from deep. If they're going to keep this game Sunday against Philadelphia close, it starts there.

The Sixers are a bottom five team in 3-point attempts, as they dominate the game in the paint on the shoulders of Joel Embiid. He'll have the opportunity to have a career game against the Thunder, who play extremely small and don't have a true center on the roster taller than 6-foot-9. 

Finding creative ways to protect the paint will be a huge key for Oklahoma City on Sunday.

RECORDS: 

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Oklahoma City Thunder (0-2) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (1-1)

WHEN: 

Sunday, October 24, 2021 at 6:00 PM CT

LOCATION: 

Paycom Center, Oklahoma City, OK

TV/RADIO: 

Bally Sports Oklahoma, NBA Leaguepass, 98.1 FM The Sports Animal

FINAL WORD: 

This will be the first of six-straight games for the Thunder against projected playoff teams. Following this contest, they'll head to California for a string of matchups against teams like the Lakers, Clippers and Warriors.


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