It’s almost a good thing this game went into overtime. Instead of Oklahoma City winning this one 100-98 and totally crapping the bed down the stretch to leave a bad taste in everybody’s mouth, the game went an extra five and the Thunder played incredibly well closing out Memphis 114-102.
After Memphis (11-33) went on a 12-2 run the last four minutes of the game to send it to OT, the Grizzlies scored the first bucket of the extra frame, but OKC (11-35) responded with 14 unanswered to close out on a high-note, sending everybody home happy.
Kevin Durant was absolute superstar, top-five-in-the-league material in overtime. Not that he’s not all the time, but he was other-worldly in the extra frame. He scored eight of OKC’s 14 in the period, had one mega-block and made multiple winning plays. His 21-foot jumper to tie the game at 102-102 sent kind of a “We’re alright” feeling over the team. He was electric in the first quarter scoring 16. He cooled, scoring just two in the second. But he was extremely efficient in the second half and in overtime, finishing with 35 on 14-23 shooting with 10 boards, six assists and four blocks. But he’s not an All-Star. Nah. No way. News flash NBA: Kevin Durant is freaking good at basketball.
All in all, it winds up being win No. 11 and what we all thought should happen. Maybe the path to it isn’t what we wanted or expected, but I’ll take it. So many things could have gone differently to have locked this one away with four minutes left and wound up being a 10-point margin, but so many things could have gone differently to have blown this one too. First, free throw shooting. I blame myself. The Thunder went 18-29 from the line (61 percent) and missed multiple free throws that could have sealed the deal. Second, OKC got outrebounded 12-4 in the fourth quarter. That shouldn’t happen. Third, the Thunder just didn’t execute down the stretch. With 45 seconds left and a four-point lead, the Thunder had the ball and instead of working a good shot, Earl Watson took a fadeaway with seven seconds left on the shot clock. I don’t know why either. This is just estimating, but in the last three minutes, I think the offense ran through KD just one time – the play he turned it over with about 20 seconds left. I’m no NBA coach or brilliant basketball mind, but how about running things through The Best Player instead of Earl Watson hoisting no-chance jumpers with the game on the line? Just a thought. Keep Reading…