“I can’t believe what he was doing offensively,” Rivers said. “They just had a lot of energy. Energy finds the ball. Tonight, that’s exactly what happened. Russell Westbrook, offensive rebounds (six). Perk did it over and over again. Sefolosha did it over and over again. That’s why they won the game.”
Good thing, too, that Durant and Westbrook had plenty of help, since the Thunder bench was lacking again. And quite fitting that Thabo, Perk and Ibaka, their long-time cohorts in the starting lineup, excelled only two games after Thabo was benched for the final two games of the Memphis series.
But Durant said he figures it had little to do with his speech Tuesday that resonated with people all over America.
“I think it was more fuel because we lost” Game 1, Durant said. “We lost by 20 points. We were pissed off.”
And now the series goes to Los Angeles tied 1-1. A five-game series, now, with the Clippers holding homecourt advantage. But homecourt hasn’t meant much in any of these NBA playoffs. What has mattered is superstars showing up, which rarely is a Thunder problem. Superstars showing up and getting help from guys who might be overlooked but feel appreciated. Now more than ever.
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 FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.