Seeing how the Thunder owns a 3-0 lead in its best-of-seven series against the reigning world champion Dallas Mavericks, it seems logical to think OKC has the momentum.
Not so, say the participants.
After the Thunder took a 2-0 lead with a pair of last-second victories over the Mavericks at Chesapeake Energy Arena, veteran point guard Derek Fisher said there was no such thing as momentum in the playoffs, that each game is its own entity.
Turns out players and coaches on both sides concur, repeatedly citing the one-game-at-a-time approach.
"I would have to agree (with Fisher)," said Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd, who has advanced to the playoffs 16 straight seasons. "Every game is going to be different. You might have different 'X' factors step in and maybe knock down a shot that they normally don't, and that's what makes the playoffs so special, so I think I would agree.
"Momentum is something you build into that game. You don't carry it over to the next game, because every game is going to be different because of the different adjustments you make for each game."
Momentum or not, OKC can end the series with a victory in Game 4 on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at American Airlines Center.
In Game 1, Dallas sixth man Jason Terry made his first six shots, eight of his first nine, shot 4 for 4 from 3-point range and had 20 points through three quarters. In the fourth quarter, he got shut out and attempted just one shot.
Before Game 2, Terry vowed he would score points aplenty in the fourth quarter. He scored eight in the period, but the Mavericks trailed 2-0 in the series after another close loss.
In Game 3, Terry finished with 11 points, six assists, four turnovers and shot 3 for 10 from the field in yet another loss.
After Thursday's game, Terry claimed he still had hope.
"I think we come out with pride and play hard, and execute our game plan," Terry said of Game 4 on Saturday. "We haven't done that in this series for 48 minutes. Hopefully Saturday night we can get that done.
"This is what it's all about. Can you fight through adverse situations, come together as a team and get it done? I believe we can. People say I'm crazy. Go see a doctor."
LOSING YOUR WILL
OKC jumped out to a 28-13 lead with 2:16 left in the first quarter in Game 3 on Thursday and went on to win 95-79.
If the Thunder gets off to a similar start in Game 4, it might break whatever spirit remains for the defending champs.
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