The best game of the first day of the 2012 NBA playoffs left play-by-play announcers Mike Tirico of ESPN and Brian Davis of Fox Sports Oklahoma screaming as Kevin Durant's jump shot gave the Thunder the 99-98 victory.
ESPN had just shown a replay of Durant's 3-point shot that beat the Mavericks in the regular season.
Tirico: “And the Thunder wins! Durant beats them again!”
Davis: “It's over! It's over! The Mavericks were forced into a panicked possession. The Thunder came roaring back down the stretch to take the first game.”
ESPN analyst Hubie Brown credited Durant for not only make the game-winning spot but for two crucial assists in the final two minutes. “Give him credit,” Brown said. “The great ones always rise to the occasion because they want the pressure.”
Davis said the three-time scoring champion, who had struggled from the field, was due to get a shooter's roll, noting “sometimes you do get a little bit of love from the rim.”
On the Thunder postgame show, radio voice Matt Pinto discussed the “phenomenal shot.” “He got the home-cooking roll. Loud City was never louder when the shot went down. … It was a soft touch, which is what his cotton candy stroke is all about.”
BROWN ON TOP OF GAME
Brown, a former coach, was at the top of his game in broadcasting the first game of the Mavericks-Thunder series Sunday night with Tirico and sideline reporter Heather Cox.
Near the end of the first half, Tirico, one of the best play-by-play guys around, even asked him, “When it comes to the playoffs, do you miss anything?”
“Not much,” said Brown, a former head coach with the Kentucky Colonels of the NBA and the Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA.