Haters, It’s Time To Unite; Oklahoma City And Memphis Are Still Playing

05.10.11 8 years ago 78 Comments
Before y’all start going in on Russell Westbrook, let’s take a step back. First, the average age of the Thunder starters is younger than the starters from Pitt. Second, Russ and Kevin Durant combined for 75 freakin’ points in a playoff game. And third, they won. There’s only so much hate Russ should get, and no, he’s not Stephon Marbury. But just as their point guard has, Oklahoma City is taking a lot of hits this postseason from critics. They took a big step toward answering them in an epic 133-123 three-overtime win against Memphis to even the series at two games each. Where to start? Where to end? The Thunder trailed by 18 in the second quarter as Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins couldn’t contain Zach Randolph (34 points, 16 boards) and Marc Gasol (26 points, 21 boards). Eventually, they came charging back to go up 10 with less than five minutes left in regulation. But as they did all night, OKC struggled to close it out, and Mike Conley‘s (16 points) three-point heave sent the game to overtime. Greivis Vasquez‘s (14 points) shot-put three forced a second overtime. Once there, OKC went up seven with two minutes left before the Grizz rallied again. Finally in the third OT, the Thunder’s stars put it away. Durant (35 points, 13 rebounds) scored twice in isos against Shane Battier to end the drama, and before that Westbrook (40 points) was a terror … Russ has been getting killed lately for his freeze outs of KD. But it’s more about execution than anything else. The Thunder were starting their possessions way too late in the shot clock, and were constantly left with just one option: the dude with the ball. Still, for Durant to go nine minutes in a close game without a shot like he did last night is crazy. As a point, that’s on Russ. He’s still growing. But he definitely isn’t trying to avoid Durant … Oklahoma’s bench deserves credit. James Harden (19 points, seven boards, seven assists, three blocks) was the third playmaker the team needed and Nick Collison‘s extended minutes forced some key stops and hustle boards … KD had a dunk that nearly decapitated Z-Bo … Want to know what NBA players say to earn techs? Check out what Perkins said to earn his in the second quarter, courtesy of a John Hollinger tweet: Ref: “Stop.” Perk: “YOU stop.” Boom … If the Mississippi River was flooding like this during the Memphis/San Antonio series, how hyped would Tim Duncan have been? … Continue reading to hear about LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh taking a big step…

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