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Oklahoma City Thunder: Playoff basketball offers a new plot every night

Don’t count on the Clippers carrying over momentum from a rousing Game 4 comeback victory.
by Berry Tramel Published: May 12, 2014

Oh, sometimes history repeats. The Thunder went to Memphis for a must-win Game 6 and did just that, in dominating fashion. Then whipped the Griz in Game 7, too.

“I felt like from Game 6 to 7, that momentum definitely carried,” said Caron Butler. “We did a good job of keeping that momentum going and working it out for the best interest of the team.”

But is that momentum, or just the superior team exerting its will the deeper the series goes? No better depiction of momentum exists than the Clippers’ Game 1 shooting – 15 of 29 on 3-pointers, a 104-78 lead through three quarters – but since then LA has made just 19 of 74 from long range.

Every game is different. Every game has its own set of twists and turns. Rivers figures that rather than give his Clippers momentum, their big comeback is just going to anger the Thunder.

“They’re seething right now,” Rivers said. “They had an opportunity to go up 3-1, and now it’s an even series. We were almost on the mat and we got off of it. We didn’t get pinned.”

Every game in a series brings new insight. Some of it works long-term. In May 2013, Memphis didn’t put Tony Allen on Durant until late in Game 2. Seems like the biggest of follies. Was Chris Paul on Durant a fad, or something the Clips can ride to the Western Conference Finals? Some breakthroughs don’t carry over. Brooks’ small lineup carried the Thunder to victory in Game 3; it went belly up in Game 4.

Whatever happens in Game 5, and in the rest of the series, it won’t be momentum-based. Won’t be because the winning team caught a wave and rode it to victory.

The previous game doesn’t count. Law & Order started over every week. The Thunder starts over in Game 5. Game 4 won’t beat the Thunder. The Clippers will have to do that themselves.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at . 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