Berry Tramel: This was not Scott Brooks' finest hour

OKC THUNDER: Thunder pulls out a win over Minnesota thanks to stars' effort.
by Berry Tramel Published: March 23, 2012
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Fisher is right. Had he made a shot or two, there would have been no overtime. But had Brooks not asked Perkins to do what he absolutely cannot do — guard Love on the perimeter — the Thunder would have needed neither overtime nor a Fisher make.

Perkins played 23:44 with Love on the court, and Love scored 26 points during that span.

Sure, no one else was great against Love, who scored 25 points in 25:35 when Gran Torino was on the bench.

But Love's initial burst — 11 points the first 4½ minutes of the game — gave the Timberwolves a much-needed spark on a night that ended a seven-game, 13-day road trip.

Clearly, Brooks should have gone to the small lineup earlier. Maybe even go super small; make Love try to guard Durant. That would teach 'em.

Of course, Brooks did us all a favor. His decisions did produce an epic game. Maybe not as wild as that overtime game against Denver a month ago, but close.

Durant made a 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds left in regulation to give the Thunder a three-point lead and then a 3-pointer with 10.1 seconds left in the first overtime to tie the game. He called it “fun” and nerve-wracking.”

Westbrook scored 11 points in the final 5:36 of the overtimes, including a huge putback to cut the Minnesota lead to three with 36 seconds left in the first OT. He called it “fun.”

Love set a Minnesota franchise record for points but had just a solitary foul shot in the second overtime. He called it a “tough loss.”

“The stars were stars tonight,” Fisher said. “That's why those three guys were all-stars in the Western Conference. Fortunately, we had two on our side.”

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. 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 newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
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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