Oklahoma City won Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Sunday, beating Memphis 93-91 behind a huge day from Kevin Durant. Here’s some rapid reaction:
Trailing by one with less than 20 seconds left, Grizzlies guard Mike Conley Jr. drove the lane and lost the ball, thanks to timely a Derek Fisher poke-away, and it went directly into the hands of Kevin Durant. As expected, that wasn’t a good thing for Memphis. Scott Brooks showed great trust, choosing not to call timeout, and his star delivered, weaving down the court and setting up a cold-blooded stop-and-pop 20-footer in transition. All net, putting the Thunder up for good. Here’s the play:
It was over when…
…Quincy Pondexter, who had just been fouled by Reggie Jackson on a three, missed two crucial free throws in the final seconds, letting OKC’s overaggressive second-year guard off the hook and allowing the Thunder to survive a dramatic and hugely important Game 1 at home.
Star of the game – Kevin Durant
OKC’s rising megastar continues to raise his level of excellence. How does 37 points, 15 rebounds, six assists and the Game 1 game-winner sound? Just a legendary performance, under tough circumstances with his running mate sidelined. Here’s Durant’s scoring output, by game, since Westbrook went down: 41, 38, 36, 27, 35. That’s raising your game.
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