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NBA Playoffs: Q&A with Memphis coach Dave Joerger

Slowing the pace works in overtime win over Oklahoma City
by Jenni Carlson Published: April 22, 2014

It seemed like you made a conscious effort to slow down the pace of the game after Oklahoma City pushed the tempo in Game 1. Was that a focus?

“Played slower, even though we got the ball up quick, and we played deeper into the clock offensively to try to control the clock.”

How was Tony Allen able to be so effective guarding Kevin Durant?

“He did a terrific job just kind of harassing him. Not letting him get a catch where he wants to get a catch. Tony was tremendous. Tayshaun (Prince) did a good job on (Durant) early. Offensive players like to catch a rhythm. As good a scorer as he is, we tried three or four different guys on him, but obviously, Tony had him 85 percent of the time.

Durant hits that crazy three at the end of regulation and got fouled. What’s going through your head at that point?

“Seems like shots like that have been going in against us this year. He’s a great player and made a great play. It’s tough. It’s tough to take that hit and go into that overtime. That was a big moment. And that huddle was a big moment for us because we came out and executed and got stops in the first two minutes in the overtime where it’s easier to take that hit and go ‘Ugh’ and the air comes out of you.”

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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