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Thunder: What they're saying about Memphis

Oklahoman Modified: May 6, 2011 at 6:09 pm •  Published: May 6, 2011

The FedExForum has been transformed from crypt to carnival. The Grizzlies suddenly have a raucous home arena, a challenge for the Thunder as this playoff series shifts to Memphis.

Is there a secret to winning in the River City?

Here's the Thunder's take on this road challenge:

Thunder swingman Kevin Durant

“It should be fun. To play in the playoffs is always fun, but to play on the road is even better. As a competitor, you like to quiet the crowd. You like to play off the crowd.

“We've got a little bit more motivation to go in there and try to do what they did to us — beat us on our home floor.”

Thunder power forward Nick Collison

“We expect it to be crazy, similar to our crowd. I've always said I think the crowd affects the home team more, gives them a boost of energy and maybe more confidence. I don't know if pros necessarily get shook on the road, but it's harder to compete against a team that's really got it rolling at home.

“We just do a good job of playing each possession and not getting caught up too much in the big picture of things. I think you're better off if you just try to focus on the task at hand.”

Thunder coach Scott Brooks

“It's going to be a challenge there because they're good. Teams that win at home, it's based on their talent and whether they're a good team.

“Guys like to play in buildings that have energy. But as the game goes on ... you block out the crowd, you block out the noise. You're so focused on doing your job and helping your team move forward that the noise doesn't play as big of a role as you would think.”

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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