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OKC Thunder: Kevin Martin needs Nick Collison on the court

Nick Collison played just 61/2 minutes in the Thunder's 107-100 loss to Houston in Game 5, and here's possibly the biggest reason why he should have been on the court and not on the bench: Kevin Martin needed him.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, Published: May 2, 2013

Although Martin and Collison surrendered personal gain this season, together they have prospered.

Martin had been his team's leading scorer the previous six seasons with Sacramento and Houston, while Collison has been propping up teammates since he was drafted 10 years ago.

In Game 5, with Martin sinking to his lowest point, Collison was barely given a chance to lend a hand during their 6:32 together on the court from the 1:30 mark in the first quarter to 6:58 in the second, at which point Collison was taken out and never allowed to return.

If for no other reason, Collison warranted additional play for what he achieved, finishing with six points, 3 for 3 shooting from the field, two rebounds and two blocked shots.

With the loss of All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook to a season-ending knee injury, the Thunder is trying to synchronize several moving parts during the playoffs, which is no easy task.

The Martin-Collison component, however, already was in sync.

After leading the series 3-0, OKC clings to a 3-2 lead entering Game 6 on Friday at 8:30 p.m. at the Toyota Center in Houston.

How does K-Mart get going again?

“Calling his number,” said replacement starting point guard Reggie Jackson. “Personally, myself, I put him in some bad situations, just sitting in the corner. Kevin Martin is a guy who likes to move. He had it going. He likes to come down pin-downs, get moving, that's how he gets baskets. He's more than a spot-up shooter. Just everybody, let the offense score for us.”

Martin's own cure?

“Just stay with it,” Martin said Thursday. “Stay confident. Follow and trust what you've been doing all year.”

Hopefully, with Collison alongside.

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