Stan Van Gundy after the game about the Skirvin: “What haunts me are guys like Kevin Durant,” Van Gundy said. “So, I would say this building is haunted because of guys like him, as are most of the buildings in the NBA. I haven’t run into a haunted hotel, just haunted arenas.”
Eddy Rivera of Magic Basketball: “Ironically enough, Orlando could have gotten away with Durant and Westbrook going nova on offense if they contained the role players. No offense to Nenad Krstic, but he shouldn’t be putting up 16 points and 11 rebounds. As Reggie Miller said on the TNT broadcast, that’s found money. It’s true. Guys like Jeff Green, James Harden, and Serge Ibaka are going to contribute but the key is to limit their impact and unfortunately for the Magic, they were unable to do so. That’s one of the reasons that Orlando lost in an otherwise winnable scenario.”
From Elias: “Kevin Durant scored 36 points and Russell Westbrook scored 32 in the Thunder’s 125-124 win over the Magic. It was the first time in over 10 years that teammates scored more than 30 points in a regulation-time game against Orlando. Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal were the last players to do so (March 21, 1999). Allen Iverson and Chris Webber both topped the 30-point mark for the 76ers in an OT game against the Magic in 2006, as did Rashard Lewis and Gary Payton for the Sonics in 2001 (2 OTs).”
Russell Westbrook took the Daily Dime’s best player award. Tough to say if he was really better than Durant though.
Dime: “Is there a way David Stern can schedule Orlando vs. Oklahoma City every night? If not, can he at least just give us the Thunder seven nights a week? We can’t be alone when we say they get more exciting as the team gets better. Orlando combined with OKC last night for some serious fireworks … Behind spectacular games from Russell Westbrook (32 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists) and Kevin Durant (36 points) — who abused whomever Orlando checked them with — the Thunder led throughout and answered every run the Magic tried to make.”
Darnell Mayberry: “As I wrote for Friday’s paper, this was a huge win. It can build confidence and perhaps begin to establish some consistency. The Thunder’s defense was better than the final score would indicate, and the offense looked incredible tonight. Most importantly, there were no dry spells, no prolonged letdowns that allowed Orlando to peel off costly runs. This was the Thunder’s most complete game, and it could have some carry over going into the second half of the season.”
Orlando Pinstriped Post: “And that’s the one positive to take from this game if you’re Orlando: that the team scored essentially at will. Durant leads the league in scoring, and 28 points is an average night for him, so he’ll get his. The bigger issue is the Magic didn’t stop the ball in transition, nor did they rebound effectively. Letting Westbrook run roughshod over them is more of a problem than Durant’s scoring is.”
Sekou Smith of NBA.com: “In a half season filled with salacious story lines, we’d almost forgotten about those young cats in Oklahoma City. Sure, they were the cover boys on all the preseason magazines and everyone’s trendy pick to challenge the Lakers in the Western Conference. But when the season started, their elders in San Antonio and Dallas stole their thunder. Seeing Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green and the boys go toe-to-toe with the Magic last night, reminded us just how mighty the Thunder can be. Whatever they lack in experience, they seem to make up for in energy, effort, determination and chemistry. Not even a dominant showing from Dwight Howard could stop the Thunder last night.”
Simmons is back to not calling us by name anymore. But when you read this, you see how non-serious this whole thing is.