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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