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Oklahoma City Thunder notebook: Kevin Durant shares stage with good-luck charm

David Gomez, a boy from McAllen, Texas, sat next to Durant, who went against NBA protocol and brought a young friend with him to the post-game press conference.
BY BERRY TRAMEL, DARNELL MAYBERRY AND JOHN ROHDE Published: April 28, 2013

“He's an unbelievable guy,” Parsons said of Durant. “His work ethic is unbelievable, and it's crazy how good he is. I met him a while ago and he's a good dude. His work ethic is really impressive and I look up to him.”

SLOW GOING

Brooks said his team did not play as fast as usual in Game 3, and that was by design because without Westbrook, OKC wants to control tempo.

“I definitely want to run with numbers and missed shots, but not makes,” Brooks said.

The Rockets outscored the Thunder 17-6 in fast-break points, but Houston took 28 shots that came less than 10 seconds since a possession change. The Thunder took just eight.

CLOSE CALLS

After the Thunder's 120-91 blowout victory in Game 1, the last two games have been decided by three points, both in favor of OKC.

“We feel we should be up 2-1 right now, and we're down 0-3,” Parsons said. “We're never going to give up until we lose four games or we win four games. They've still got to beat us one more time. That's our mentality going (forward). It's a one-game series from now on. We're not going to hang our heads. We're frustrated and we're heartbroken right now, but we've got to use this feeling right now and get better tomorrow and then be ready Monday night because the series is not over yet.”

DRAW A LINE

The Thunder has led the NBA in team free-throw percentage the last three seasons and might trail Houston in the series 2-1 if it did not continue to excel at the line.

OKC shot 82.8 percent on free throws during the regular season and has shot 85.4 percent in three games against the Rockets, who have struggled at 73.0 percent.

The Thunder was 11 for 12 (. 917) in the second half of Game 3, while Houston was 10 for 15 (. 667).

QUOTABLE

Fisher on the key to making free throws and his thoughts on Jackson calmly sinking two with 8.0 seconds remaining in Game 3: “Just step up there and trust your training. It helps to see a teammate step up there and knock a couple down. Reggie's a cool customer. I think he's wise beyond his years and his age. He stepped up there and knocked down a couple. Those are the types of things we're going to need to have, where everybody feels good stepping into the moment.”

BY BERRY TRAMEL, DARNELL MAYBERRY AND JOHN ROHDE