OKC Thunder: Grizzlies' Tayshaun Prince says Kevin Durant was tough to cover

As tired as Durant was, the man defending him might have been even more physically spent.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: May 16, 2013

Prince said the key was shutting down Durant early, which certainly was the case Wednesday as Durant missed his first six shots from the field.

“I really wanted to concentrate on the first quarter because in the past he had gotten good looks early in the game,” Prince said. “That kind of helped tonight. At times. I think he wanted it so bad early on. He kind of forced a couple shots to try and get his rhythm, stuff like that.”

Prince scored just eight points himself on Game 5 and went 3 for 13 from the field, which did include an authoritative dunk over three Thunder defenders.

“From an offensive standpoint, I never got anything going just by chasing him (Durant) the whole entire time,” Prince said with a chuckle. “Every game, my legs felt like they were just gone because he gets so many picks, and pick-and-rolls. If there's one thing I could do to help the team is try to contest as many shots as I can, try to stay in front of him as best as I can.”

Afterward, Prince was extremely complimentary of Durant, calling one of the three toughest players in the league to defend.

“LeBron (James) and Melo (Carmelo Anthony) are the other two guys,” Prince said. “When they get that rhythm, it's hard to stop them. So you try to stop that rhythm at the beginning to at least give yourself a chance.”

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