Amar’e & The Knicks Break Themselves In Miami; OKC Survives

By: 05.01.12
Kevin Durant & Russell Westbrook

Kevin Durant & Russell Westbrook (photo. Rob Hammer)

Are we talking glass half full or glass half empty? Dallas could conceivably be up 2-0 on the No. 2 seed out West, and are playing like a team that could advance. And yet, they’re still down 2-0 despite Kevin Durant shooting 15-for-44 so far in this series. Before OKC walked home with a 102-99 win, Jason Terry had two looks at a triple to tie Game 2, and couldn’t get either one to fall. Russell Westbrook had a solid shooting night, and Durant had a horrible one, but they still combined for 55 points and had the roof ready to come off once Terry’s 30-footer didn’t find the net … OKC finished the first quarter on a 11-1 run, punctuated by the first shot Derek Fisher has hit since he came to the Midwest. And Kendrick Perkins had his aggression all the way ramped up early. Perkins and Dirk Nowitzki (31 points) got into it, and on the first glance, it really did appear like the OKC center had thrown a punch. Too bad he didn’t bring his defense. Dirk lit his ass up off the dribble, and after OKC went up 16, it felt like Nowitzki was pulling three-point plays out of his hair. The reigning Finals MVP had 20 in the first half … Pretty awesome sequence during the first half with Russell Westbrook face-guarding the red-hot Jason Terry all over the court. Between that and Fisher making more shots (four in the first half!) than he has since 2001, the Thunder erupted on a 21-4 run to push the lead to 15 … David West‘s 18 and 11 started it. The rest of the Pacers finished it. We knew this newfound Orlando confidence couldn’t last, and it was a great sign for Indiana when West started going all Deebo on everyone in the first quarter. By the end of the night, it was 93-78 Indiana, and the Pacers had four guys with at least 17 points (West, Danny Granger, George Hill and Paul George) … We love to pick on Big Baby. But you gotta respect what he did last night (18 points, 10 rebounds), especially in the first half. He defended Roy Hibbert with more energy than he’s shown since he helped turned Game 4 of the 2010 Finals into a slobber-fest. The Pacers were up double-digits in the first quarter, but because of the man replacing Dwight Howard, just like what happened in Game 1, Orlando came back to take the lead. He was all over the place in the first half, and actually had a run of 10 consecutive points stretching from the second quarter into the third. During a halftime interview, he was so hyped we were nervous he would hyperventilate. Then he went all Bart Scott on us, hesitating at the end of the interview before adding “THANKS FOR HAVING ME!” It didn’t have quite the same ring to it as “CAN’T WAIT!” but it did have us chuckling. The dude was zoned out. We thought he might eat the reporter … Of course, the Pacers ended the drama from there. They scored on 10 of 11 possessions at the start of the second half, owned the glass during that period by grabbing 12 of the 13 available rebounds, and pushed the lead out to nine with a 19-5 game-deciding run … Ryan Anderson had eight points in the first quarter. He scored three the entire rest of the night … We’re out like “THANKS FOR HAVING ME.”

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