Before Wednesday night’s game, Kevin Durant had one more MVP engagement to attend. It was a center court ceremony, with commissioner Adam Silver officially presenting him with the award.
Silver complimented Oklahoma City, its citizens, the Thunder organization and eventually Durant, before turning over the microphone to him.
“Thank you, guys,” Durant told the crowd. “The last few days have been overwhelming for me...I wouldn’t want to share this award with nobody but you guys in here. Now it’s time for you guys to be as loud as you can tonight. We need this game.”
And Durant and the Thunder got it, 112-101 over the Clippers.
Late in the first half on Wednesday night, some of the lighting in the arena went out, briefly stopping play. It was because of a power surge, caused by lightning.
The teams agreed to finish out the final 27 seconds of the first half in dim lighting and by the time the second half got underway, the lighting had returned.
DURANT TRYING TO COMBAT FREE THROW STRUGGLES
In every regular season or postseason run the past seven years, Durant has never shot lower than 83 percent at the line.
But this season, through his first eight playoff games, the career 88 percent free-throw shooter was hitting only 75 percent at the line.
“I can’t shoot 75, 74 percent in the playoffs,” Durant said. “I have to be better.”
To fix that, Durant said he’s been putting in extra work.
“Just gotta get back to the basics,” Durant said before Game 2. “Just focus on my follow through and stay confident.”
On Wednesday night, Durant went 9-of-11 from the line.
WESTBROOK COMMENTS ON SPEECH
Russell Westbrook never wondered or worried about whether Durant would leave him out of his acceptance speech Tuesday when he was crowned the league’s Most Valuable Player.
Even though it took quite a while for Durant to make his way to his star point guard after snaking his way through each teammate before saving Westbrook for last.
“I was just happy to hear some of the things he thought about some of the other guys on our team and the little things that guys have done for him to make him feel the way he felt,” Westbrook said.
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