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OKC Thunder: Oklahoma City turns cagey to take Game 2

COMMENTARY — Dallas' Jason Terry calls OKC the Mavericks' “Little brother.” Oklahoma City's 102-99 victory in Game 2 is evidence the Thunder is growing up.
by Berry Tramel Published: May 1, 2012

“That was a physical, intense, hard-fought playoff basketball game,” said Thunder coach Scotty Brooks. “I'm proud of our guys the way they battled at first there at the start and we finished up playing tough, hard, defensive-minded basketball.”

The Thunder survived another horrific shooting night from Durant (five of 17; that makes him 15 of 44 in the series). Durant had more turnovers (seven) than field goals. And yet OKC has won. If Durant breaks out — that's not assured, not with Shawn Marion making like Ponce de Leon – then the Thunder is likely to win easy one of these nights.

Until then, the Thunder will keep riding Russell Westbrook, who had another solid game: 29 points, 10 of 21 shooting. Westbrook's final four field goals wiped out Dallas leads; he hit the game's biggest shot, a 3-pointer that gave the Thunder an 89-88 lead.

Dallas grabbed one more lead, 97-96 on Vince Carter's muscle shot with 2:18 left, and the Mavs had two possessions to expand the lead. But Nowitzki missed a wide-open 3-pointer on one of the possessions, then the Thunder got a break.

The Thunder inbounded the ball under its basket with 2.6 seconds left in the shot clock but got the ball to Durant in a scramble near the corner. Durant exaggerated a bump from Terry, and the whistle-happy crew was more than happy to stop the game again.

Durant made two foul shots with 50.4 seconds left for a 98-97 lead. Fortune? Yes. That's what happens to big brothers.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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