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The Oklahoma City Thunder are an American professional basketball team based in Oklahoma City. The Thunder competes in the National Basketball AssociationThe Oklahoma City Thunder are an American professional basketball team based in Oklahoma City. The Thunder competes in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference Northwest Division. The team plays its home games at Chesapeake Energy Arena.The Thunder's NBA G League affiliate is the Oklahoma City Blue, which it owns. The Thunder is the only team in the major professional North American sports leagues based in the state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma City previously hosted the New Orleans Hornets (now the Pelicans) for two seasons following devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The team was originally established as the Seattle SuperSonics, an expansion team that joined the NBA for the 1967–68 season. The SuperSonics moved in 2008 after a settlement was reached between the ownership group led by Clay Bennett and lawmakers in Seattle, Washington following a lawsuit. In Seattle, the SuperSonics qualified for the NBA playoffs 22 times, won their division six times, advanced to three NBA Finals, and won the 1979 NBA Championship. In Oklahoma City, the Thunder qualified for their first playoff berth during the 2009–10 season. They won their first division title as the Thunder in the 2010–11 season and their first Western Conference championship as the Thunder in the 2011–12 season, appearing in the NBA Finals for the fourth time in franchise history and first time since 1996, when the team was based in Seattle.
The Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA)The Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league's Western Conference Pacific Division, and are the only team in their division not based in California. The Suns play their home games at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. The franchise began play in 1968 as an expansion team, and their early years were shrouded in mediocrity, but their fortunes changed in the 1970s, where, after partnering long-term guard Dick Van Arsdale and center Alvan Adams with Paul Westphal, the Suns reached the 1976 NBA Finals, in what is considered to be one of the biggest upsets in NBA history. However, after failing to capture a championship, the Suns would rebuild around Walter Davis for a majority of the 1980s, until the acquisition of Kevin Johnson in 1988. Under Johnson, and after trading for perennial NBA All-Star Charles Barkley, and combined with the output of Tom Chambers and Dan Majerle, the Suns reached the playoffs for a franchise-record thirteen consecutive appearances and remained a regular title contender throughout the 1990s, and reached the 1993 NBA Finals. However, the team would again fail to win a championship, and entered into another period of mediocrity until the early part of the 2000s. In 2004, the Suns reacquired Steve Nash, and immediately returned into playoff contention. With Nash, Shawn Marion, and Amar'e Stoudemire, and under head coach Mike D'Antoni, the Suns became renowned worldwide for their quick, dynamic offense, which led them to tie a franchise record in wins in the 2004–05 season. Two more top two Conference placements followed, but the Suns again failed to attain an NBA championship, and were forced into another rebuild. The Suns own the NBA's seventh-best all-time winning percentage, and have the second highest winning percentage of any teams to have never won an NBA championship. 10 Hall of Famers have played for Phoenix, while two Suns, Barkley and Nash, have won the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award while playing for the team. The Suns are the only one of Arizona's major professional sports franchises which uses "Phoenix" instead of "Arizona" as its geographical identifier. The National Football League's Arizona Cardinals and National Hockey League's Arizona Coyotes used "Phoenix" as their geographical identifier when they moved from other locations, but later changed to "Arizona". Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks have always used the state as its identifier.