It was a historic night at The Peake.
First, Kevin Durant was presented with his first MVP award. Oklahoma City’s first as well.
Then, he and Russell Westbrook made a run at becoming the first pair of teammates to both have triple-doubles in NBA Playoff history.
They fell one assist short.
But no one inside The Peake on Wednesday night seemed to mind. The Thunder beat the Clippers, 112-101, and evened this best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series at one win a piece.
It was a star-studded night. Jay Z. Troy Aikman. Adam Silver.
The NBA commissioner was in the house, of course, to present Kevin Durant with his MVP award. The pregame ceremony was as loud as The Peake has ever been, drowning out nearly 10 seconds of Silver’s comments. But the arena quieted in time to hear Silver announce Durant as the most valuable player.
The arena erupted again as Durant held the trophy aloft.
But when he set down the trophy and picked up the microphone, the place fell absolutely silent.
“The last few days have been overwhelming for me and my family,” Durant told the crowd. “I appreciate all the support. I wouldn’t want to share this award with anybody else but you guys in here.”
Then, he played cheerleader for a moment.
“Now, it’s time for you guys to get as loud as you can be,” he said. “We need to win this game.”
Unlike Monday night when the Clippers took control of Game 1 early and never looked back, the Thunder was the aggressor in Game 2. It built a double-digit lead in the first quarter, and even though the Clippers erased the deficit and actually took the lead late in the second quarter, a 6-0 run to end the half gave the Thunder a five-point lead as halftime approached.