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

Westbrook to the “Russ-cue”.

Driver was still in a bit of disbelief even after seeing the highlights on SportsCenter.

“It was pretty amazing,” he said.

No doubt about that. The Thunder scored eight points in 43.7 seconds. The Clippers committed two uncharacteristic turnovers. The officials made one heavily disputed call that was still causing waves Wednesday.

According to Kevin Pelton, an NBA analyst for ESPN Insider, the Thunder had a 0.5 percent chance of winning the game when it was down 13 points with 4:01 to play.

Francois Murdock, a Thunder fan in Columbus, Ohio, turned off the game a few minutes before that, only to see Twitter blow up with news of the comeback. He turned his TV back on in time to see Westbrook’s last free throw.

Sean Crews, an Oklahoma City University grad in Chicago, left Buffalo Wild Wings after the Thunder went down seven. He’d gone about three blocks on his bike when he stopped at a red light, checked Twitter and realized what was happening. He raced back to catch the final seconds.

And Rhonda Skrapke, a Thunder fan in Enid, turned off the TV after that Paul shot. She got up Wednesday morning and told her husband, who went to bed before she did, that the Thunder had lost. But before she had backed her car out of the driveway, she heard someone say something about Reggie Jackson making the play of the game. She got to call her husband with a happy correction.

“My day was made,” she said.

The same goes for any Thunder fan who gave up a bit too early.

Scott Cline, the guy with the early wake-up call, spent part of his lunch hour Wednesday on YouTube watching what he missed. (Is there any chance KD did the same, just to see what those free throws looked like?)

A photo of Durant sitting on the court while Westbrook shot his free throws went from sports fodder Wednesday morning to internet craze Wednesday afternoon. KD was being photoshopped into all sorts of iconic scenes. The Muhammad Ali knockout of Sonny Liston. The sinking of the Titanic. The first steps on the moon.

Good times, Thunder fans.

Now, the Thunder returns to Los Angeles with a 3-2 lead in the series and a chance to close out the Clippers on Thursday night. Even though Cline is happy about the victory Tuesday night, he is disappointed that he bailed too soon.

“The way Russ was playing and the history of comebacks,” he said, “I should’ve known.”

No more turning away.

“Won’t happen again.”

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.

by Jenni Carlson
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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