King Kevin Durant credits his Thunder Nation for Game 5 triumph

by Berry Tramel Published: April 28, 2011

Clutch? Clutch is saving a team that's about to lose at home, forcing a quick flight to Denver, where a bunch of mean people like Nene' and Kenyon Martin and that goofball Sonicgate guy await. Clutch is saving a team from getting halfway to dubious NBA history. No team ever has won a series after going down three games to none, but give Denver this win, and who believes the Nuggets wouldn't be back Sunday, tied 3-3?

Clutch is making the last 10 seconds relevant in the first place. In those final 31/2 minutes, which began with Denver leading 91-82, Durant made five of six shots and all three of his foul shots.

So much for George Karl's quest to prove that go-to guys aren't needed. The Denver coach put up a good fight, getting the Nuggets this far after superstar Carmelo Anthony forced a trade to the Knickerbockers, and who knows, maybe some day Karl will be proven right.

But not this day. Not when Durant almost by himself beat a well-rounded Nugget team that had five double-digit scorers ranging from 11 to 15 points but scored only one basket in the final 41/2 minutes, that on a tip-in, as the pressure mounted and the Thunder defense grew fangs.

“A great player got hot,” Karl said. “It's always tough to close it out in a tough building with a player playing as well as Durant was playing.”

Tough to beat a team that has a superstar who most definitely is Mister Clutch.

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 AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at

Tramel: Quite a night for the OKC crowd
by Berry Tramel
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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