Oklahoma City Thunder: Why Kevin Durant wasn't the only one who didn't see Russell Westbrook's game-winning free throws

by Jenni Carlson Published: May 14, 2014

Kevin Durant walked to the far corner of the court, flapping his arms the whole way, trying to quiet a raucous Peake.

The reason: Russell Westbrook had some important free throws to shoot.

But Durant couldn’t watch.

With the playoff series — and Thunder season — hanging in the balance Tuesday night, the Thunder superstar made like a kid watching a horror movie through the slits between his fingers. He turned his back and crouched like a catcher. Sat down on the hardwood and draped his arms over his knees. Stared into the stands and let the fans’ reaction tell the story.

He wasn’t the only one who didn’t see those game-winning free throws.

There were a good number of Thunder fans who turned off their TVs and a few who even bolted from The Peake when it looked like their team wasn’t coming back in Game 5.

Down 13 points with four minutes left.

Down seven with 49 seconds left.

One of the fans who woke up Wednesday morning thinking that the Clippers had won was Scott Cline. The Edmond resident rises at 5 every morning so he can get to work in Del City on time, so these late tip times have been difficult. When Chris Paul nailed a shot and put the Clippers up seven with less than a minute to go, Cline turned off the TV and headed to bed.

Normally, he leaves on the notifications on his cell phone, but he didn’t want to deal with all the beeping complaints. He silenced the phone.

Wednesday morning, Cline got up, got ready for work, got in the car and headed out.

Eventually, he turned on the radio.

The first thing he heard on the Sports Animal was Clippers coach Doc Rivers ranting about the referee’s call that he said cost his team a victory.

Cost the Clippers a victory?

Wait, what?

It suddenly dawned on Cline — the Thunder won.

“To say I couldn’t believe it,” he said, “would be putting it mildly.”

Same goes for Joel Driver. He turned off his TV after that Paul shot, too, out of anger.

“I was just so frustrated because of how bad we were playing and how horrible their offense looked down the stretch,” he said.

The Oklahoma City resident didn’t go straight to bed, but he wasn’t paying attention to any media, social or otherwise. Only after he woke up Wednesday morning did Driver check Facebook.

“Did we seriously just win this game???” a friend posted.

“Surely he’s not talking about the Thunder,” Driver thought, “but he must be.”

A quick check of our website, NewsOK.com, and the headlines confirmed his suspicions.

Thunder comes back to beat Clippers, take 3-2 series lead.

How Kevin Durant rallied from one of the roughest nights of his career.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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