It wasn’t just a one game thing.
Scott Brooks stuck with the rotational adjustments from Game 6 that turned this series around, using them to close out a pesky Memphis team in Game 7.
He started Caron Buter, who was solid again, and gave rookie Steven Adams an extended run.
Adams played a combined 45 minutes the past two games, while Thabo Sefolosha hasn’t played and Nick Collison has been limited to seven.
Joerger likes OKC
When media officials ended Memphis coach Dave Joerger’s postgame press conference, he feigned a desire to continue. But he wasn’t kidding. He had one final comment, directed at national and Oklahoma City media.
“We love coming here,” Joerger said. “You guys treat us so well. Best of luck to you guys. ’Preciate you. That’s what they say in the South.”
Tickets for Round 2 go on sale Sunday
The Thunder opens the second round on Monday night in OKC against the winner of the Warriors-Clippers Game 7, which tipped off late Saturday night.
A limited number of tickets for both Game 1 and 2 will be available at noon Sunday online at Thunder.NBA.com.
Adams calls Randolph’s suspension ‘unfortunate’
While he was at the center of one of the biggest plays of the series, Adams didn’t even notice it happened.
Talking for the first time about Zach Randolph’s suspension — which came after he nailed the Thunder’s rookie center with a swift punch across the jaw — Adams said he thought it was an off-ball foul, not a punch.
“Yeah, I’m not sure,” Adams said. “I was just trying to focus on what play we had. My mind is really slow. It doesn’t process straight away.”
Adams also called the suspension unfortunate.
“I was surprised,” Adams said. “It’s really unfortunate … I’m actually a big fan of his. He’s smart with how he plays.”
Randolph apologizes to organization
Ninety minutes before tip-off, from a nearby hotel, Randolph apologized for the suspension in an interview with The Commercial Appeal of Memphis.
But he didn’t sound like a guy who agreed with the ruling.
“I want to apologize to my fans and the organization,” Randolph told the newspaper. “This was totally unexpected. I wasn’t even thinking about that play. Normally, if you do something in a game like get a technical or get into something, you think about it all night. I didn’t think about it. I was just upset about the loss. Not being able to play in Game 7 never crossed my mind.”
KD on the craziness of the playoffs
Saturday provided a first in NBA history, with Oklahoma City hosting one of a record three Game 7s on the same day.
And there are two more scheduled for Sunday, with that number almost three again, if only Blazers guard Damian Lillard had not ended the Houston-Portland series with a wild buzzer-beating 3-pointer on Friday night.
“A great shot,” Durant said. “Knowing that that game could have been a Game 7 as well and then having five of them already. It’s been great, man. A lot of people love to see that this time of year.”
Kendrick Perkins, asked if Adams reminds him of himself at all: “Yeah, except for the athleticism part.”
Stat of the day
How you lose/win a starting job: Since returning from injury, Thabo Sefolosha is 3-of-20 from 3-point range. During that same time frame, Caron Butler is 22-of-34 from deep.
Stat of the day II
Of note in this wild seven-game series: The Thunder never trailed at the end of regulation. All three of its losses were in overtime.