Arena Lights Cut Out in Oklahoma City Before Halftime of Thunder-Clippers

Grant HughesNational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 7, 2014


Just before halftime of Game 2 between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers, the arena lights unexpectedly dimmed, causing a delay in the game and a couple of bizarre scenes.

Hacks, prepare your very best "Kevin Durant shot the lights out" jokes. This is your time to shine.

Matt Barnes was going about his business, staring off into the crowd and contemplating which Thunder player he was going to clothesline in the second half when the arena suddenly darkened. Yanked from his flagrant foul reverie, he was clearly startled.

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Chris Paul, still very much that kid shooting buckets in the driveway when the streetlights came on, wanted to keep playing.

He even hollered up to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who was in the house to present Durant with his MVP hardware before tipoff.

It's hard to know if Paul's shouting made any difference, but both coaches eventually agreed to simply play out the remaining 27.2 ticks of the second quarter in the shadows.

It was a cool scene, but probably not one the NBA wanted in a high-profile playoff game. And the fact the brownout occurred at Chesapeake Energy Arena only added to the slightly embarrassing irony.

All's well that ends well, though, and the lights were ready to go to start the second half after only a minor delay.

That's a blessing for everyone who paid top dollar to watch the game. Nobody wants to see a half-lit Russell Westbrook darting up and down the floor. And there are other dangers of playing on a partially illuminated floor as well.

This is a game the Thunder desperately need, as dropping a second straight home contest would almost certainly spell disaster in the series. For OKC to prevail, the light bulb it needs most is the proverbial one above Scott Brooks' head.

If he ever figures out how to install a functional offensive system, the Thunder's future will get considerably brighter.