The game wasn’t played in Miami. It wasn’t 2012. But it sure felt like it.
For the second time in three postseasons, Mike Miller shoved a Game 5 dagger in the Thunder’s hopes.
On Tuesday night, with the stakes amped up, Miller drilled five of his eight 3-pointers, including two to start overtime. He had 21 monster points.
“Mike Miller,” Memphis coach Dave Joerger said, shaking his head. “What he did offensively was tremendous.”
In Game 5 of the NBA Finals in 2012, Miller hit seven 3s in the Heat’s closeout win over OKC.
THUNDER PLAYERS WEAR BLACK SHOES, SOCKS TO PROTEST STERLING
As a show of solidarity with the Clipper players and others across the NBA, the Thunder players wore black socks and shoes on Tuesday night.
It was a silent protest for the racially charged comments made by Donald Sterling that were released by TMZ over the weekend.
The Grizzlies also wore dark shoes and socks and turned their shooting shirts inside-out.
Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson even wore a black arm sleeve, in place of their typical white ones.
BENNETT, BROOKS BACK SILVER’S DECISION
NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s punishment came swift and strong on Tuesday afternoon, when he announced that Clippers owner Donald Sterling would be given a lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine.
And now, Silver says, the onus is on the league’s board of governors. With a three-quarters vote, the NBA’s other owners could remove Sterling from his post and force a sale of the Clippers.
In the wake of the decision, many owners have come out with public statements backing Silver’s actions, including Thunder owner Clay Bennett.
“The Oklahoma City Thunder strongly supports the decisive action taken today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver,” Bennett said in a news release. “Ours is a league of inclusion, tolerance and fairness. The Thunder organization will continue to work to foster the tenets of diversity and respect, and build on that standard moving forward.”
Before the game on Tuesday night, OKC coach Scott Brooks echoed those sentiments.
“I’m proud of the commissioner’s quick decision to what has happened over the weekend,” Brooks said. “I think it’s great. Proud of him.”
BUTLER REVEALS FISHER’S SECRET
As expected, Derek Fisher became the NBA’s all-time leader in postseason games played on Tuesday night, passing former teammate Robert Horry.
On Monday, before the feat, fellow veteran Caron Butler was asked why Fisher has lasted so long as an impact player in the NBA.
“He’s always in the cold tub, man,” Butler said. “You know how some people do two-a-days on the court? He’s two-a-days in the cold tub. Grant Hill was the same way.”
Butler went on to say he’s learned a lot from Fisher in his brief time with the Thunder, mostly involving body maintenance.
“It’s been nothing but a privilege and pleasure to play with a super vet like that,” Butler said.
IBAKA RECEIVES KIA COMMUNITY ASSIST AWARD
Before Tuesday’s game, Serge Ibaka was presented with the Kia Community Assist Award, given for his generous time in the Oklahoma City community and donations to his hometown of Brazzaville, Congo.
NBA legend Bob Lanier was in town to present Ibaka with the award.
Along with the recognition, the NBA will donate $10,000 to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF on behalf of Ibaka.
Game 6 is in Memphis on Thursday night. Tip time is 7 on TNT.