Kevin Durant and the Thunder Send a Message to the Rest of the NBA; Blake Griffin’s Birthday is Ruined

03.17.11 8 years ago 65 Comments

The Oklahoma City Thunder took a big step forward last night. Kevin Durant & Co. went into Miami and beat a fired up Heat team – and to be honest, didn’t even play all that well offensively in the process. The Thunder traded haymakers with Miami in the first half as each team took turns churning out highlight reel material. Then in the second half, OKC clamped down on defense and completely shut down the Big 3, forcing them into a 4-24 performance in the third and fourth quarters, and propelling the Thunder to a 96-85 win. The whole thing was foreshadowed by Durant as he headed into the locker room at halftime. In his interview with Heather Cox, visibly irritated Durant told her, “The first team that plays defense will win the game.” If they play defense like this and get their offense going at the same time? Unbeatable … We can’t stress how incredible some of the highlights in the first half were last night. Dwyane Wade had an absurd spin into the lane through Serge Ibaka and a two-hander on Kendrick Perkins; LeBron had a baseline, one-handed reverse that was followed by a fast break dunk that prompted Mike Tirico to comment on how many “violent” dunks there were in the half … After Ibaka came up with one of his three blocks on the night, Tirico said, “Let’s just call him Serge I-Blocka.” No Mike, we will not be doing that … Wade was an animal last night. He only had 21 points, but it seemed like he was in attack mode on both ends of the floor all game long. To go with his dunks, he also tracked down Eric Maynor on a break and sent his shot to the frank man’s frank man. The ball literally went further than into the crowd than a lot of those t-shirts that cheer teams shoot into the crowd during breaks in the action … With the game just about over in Miami, the Thunder were set to let the shot clock expire without shooting leaving four seconds on the game clock. KD passed the ball to Westbrook with about nine seconds remaining, but just before the violation Westbrook passed it back so that KD would credited for the turnover. You could see Russ laughing and Kevin just shaking his head … Remember a few weeks ago when everyone was wondering what was wrong with Chris Paul, including Chris Paul? Not to make light of his scary head injury, but it’s like he had something jarred loose. He’s come back like a monster face, averaging 28.7 points and 11.3 dimes since he’s returned. Last night he had 26 and nine as the Hornets beat the Suns 100-95 … Read More: The Nuggets take a shot at Melo, Pyscho T is under control, and Blake gets the Philly business…

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