Darnell Mayberry: “But after Paul clamped down on Durant in the fourth quarter and spurred his Los Angeles Clippers to a pivotal comeback win in Game 4, no one needed to explain what was understood. Durant had again struggled against a smaller defender. What we witnessed Sunday was nothing new. It’s an issue that dates back to at least the 2011 playoffs and one that has, at times, managed to disrupt the entire Thunder offense. Paul joined Tony Allen, Jason Kidd and Mario Chalmers as players who have flustered Durant in the playoffs. Others have done the same in spurts in the regular season.”
Berry Tramel: “Every game in a series brings new insight. Some of it works long-term. In May 2013, Memphis didn’t put Tony Allen on Durant until late in Game 2. Seems like the biggest of follies. Was Chris Paul on Durant a fad, or something the Clips can ride to the Western Conference Finals? Some breakthroughs don’t carry over. Brooks’ small lineup carried the Thunder to victory in Game 3; it went belly up in Game 4. Whatever happens in Game 5, and in the rest of the series, it won’t be momentum-based. Won’t be because the winning team caught a wave and rode it to victory. The previous game doesn’t count. Law & Order started over every week. The Thunder starts over in Game 5. Game 4 won’t beat the Thunder. The Clippers will have to do that themselves.”
If you missed it, Serge Ibaka won’t face punishment for his low blow to Blake Griffin.
Jenni Carlson calling for Perk in crunchtime: “Listen, it’s entirely possible that the Thunder would’ve still lost Sunday with Perk on the court, but as good as this guy has been on the defensive end in these playoffs, it’s difficult to imagine that the shots would’ve come as easily for the Clippers. You know that Rivers and the Clippers are going to try to find a way to replicate that end-of-game success Tuesday night and beyond. But if the conga line to the basket starts again, the Thunder has a capable party crasher in Perk. But he has to be on the court, not the bench.”
Derek Fisher talking about his 0.4 shot: “I think I still struggle to accept that, in terms of NBA history and what it meant. I always kind of curb myself that we didn’t win the championship that year, so, man, it was a great shot, but…But I’m often reminded at times by others what a special moment it was, people remembering very specifically what they were doing, where they were. Even Russell Westbrook, who was a kid, obviously, at that point, remembering running out of his house in L.A., running down the street, just celebrating like he was on the team with us. And so when I hear others describe it, it brings it home for me, and makes me feel, like I said, mostly thankful to be on great teams, with great teammates and great players. A lot of people did a lot of work to help put me in that position to have a great moment. So, it’s special.”
Jeff Caplan of NBA.com: “Durant said spacing the floor and putting the Clippers’ smallish backcourt of 6-foot point guards Paul and Darren Collison in pick-and-roll coverage should work to their advantage. He said when the ball was forced into him and teammates stood around and watched, L.A.’s small guards were like gnats swarming his long arms and preventing from him passing out. Like Durant said, when he didn’t have the little-man trap nipping at him he still managed to score 10 of his game-high 40 points in the fourth quarter. Only the double-teams came often and he had no assists while playing the entire fourth quarter. He had just one more field goal (four) on five attempts than turnovers (three).”