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Oklahoma City Thunder: OKC impossible to beat when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are on top of their games

Durant and Westbrook were sensational, apart from early turnovers, and delivered a 120-109 rout of Memphis in a Game 7 verdict that sends the Thunder to the Western Conference semifinals against whoever won the Clippers-Warriors midnight special late Saturday night.
by Berry Tramel Published: May 3, 2014

“They’re very difficult to beat when they’re both hot,” said Conley, the valiant Memphis point guard, who played with a bad hamstring. “You know they’re going to make and take a majority of the shots. When they’re making those shots, you have to give so much attention to them that they’re able to make plays for other guys.”

Even in the face of the two-star onslaught and the void of Randolph, the Grizzlies didn’t go away. Climbed back within 78-69 midway through the third quarter. Within 87-76 late third quarter. Playing a more uptempo style than they’ve ever played, Memphis persevered. Not until the fourth quarter did the Grizzlies wither.

“We knew going into the series that by the seeding they were seventh, but they were as good as any team in the West,” Scotty Brooks said. “They grind you out. They pound the ball and they just keep coming at you with their physicality.”

Memphis is a team that looks awfully good in the rearview mirror. The Grizzlies test your manhood. They are nothing like whatever awaits in the next round, Clippers or Warriors, but if you survive Memphis, you know you’re tough yourself.

The Thunder is tough. And when Durant and Westbrook play like this, they are more than tough. They are unbeatable.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

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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