OKC Thunder: Can the Thunder close the door on Lakers?

A look at how the Thunder has closed out games this postseason
by Darnell Mayberry Published: May 20, 2012


A look at how the Thunder has closed out games this postseason.


The finish: The Thunder battled back from a seven-point deficit with 2 1/2 minutes remaining. OKC outscored Dallas 12-4 over that stretch, turning defensive stops (most notably two steals against Dirk Nowitzki) into scores at the other end.

The star: Kevin Durant. He got the kind bounce on his game-winner, an off-balanced 15-footer over Shawn Marion, with 1.5 seconds remaining to lift the Thunder to victory. Durant scored or assisted on 10 of the Thunder's final 12 points.

The result: Thunder, 99-98.


The finish: The Thunder trailed by one point with one minute left. With its customary high-powered offense MIA — 5-of-13 shooting in the fourth quarter — Oklahoma City appeared headed for relinquishing home-court advantage. But the Thunder began to manufacture points at the free throw line, going 6-for-6 in the final 50.4 seconds.

The star: James Harden. In the fourth quarter, Harden had six points, five rebounds and three assists that led to another eight points. He went 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final 25.5 seconds to ice the game.

The result: Thunder, 102-99.


The finish: The Thunder entered the fourth quarter trailing 81-68, a 13-point margin that remained with 9 1/2 minutes left to play. But OKC peeled off a 15-2 run in a 3 1/2 minute stretch to tie the game and turn the tide. Oklahoma City outscored Dallas 35-16 in the final period, making 13-of-20 shots while holding the Mavs to 4-of-18 shooting. The Thunder didn't have a single turnover in the fourth quarter.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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