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A clunker finish but a glorious season for Thunder

by Berry Tramel Modified: April 13, 2011 at 11:52 pm •  Published: April 13, 2011

OK, now on to the clunker. The Thunder starters played less than half the game. The Thunder didn't get to 55 wins with Kevin Durant playing 23 minutes and Russell Westbrook 21.

Nothing mysterious about it. When you don't try to win, you often don't.

But I understand it. At least Scott Brooks played his main men part of the way. This beats San Antonio sitting out Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker all 48 minutes of a marquee game against the Lakers.

And the Thunder had the game in hand anyway, up nine points with 90 seconds left in the game. But its combination of second- and third-teamers failed to close the deal.

The lineup of Nazr Mohammed, Daequan Cook, Byron Mullens, Royal Ivey and Nate Robinson played the final 3:12 of regulation and all five minutes of overtime.

At least some good came of the deal. This will stop any clamoring for Robinson to join the rotation. After taking over at point guard midway through the fourth quarter, Mister Robinson made two of 11 shots and more bad decisions than Eric Maynor makes in a month.

And frankly, the end result was just fine. Even though Dallas was well ahead of New Orleans when this game went to overtime, the Thunder meltdown assured the Boomers of being on the Denver/San Antonio side of the West bracket, as opposed to the Portland/Laker side.

Most think that's a good thing. We'll see soon enough, with the playoffs, which Oklahoma City can only hope are as glorious as this regular season.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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