Kevin Durant's luckiest 3-point shot in his career drew several comments from the TV analysts in Game 3 of the Thunder-Rockets NBA playoff series Saturday night.
As the ball bounced up and down three times before falling through the rim, Fox Sports Oklahoma analyst Grant Long shouted, “Get the shooter's roll! Get the shooter's roll! I'm going to tell mama!”
After the game, ESPN analyst Jon Barry called it “the most fortunate bounce he (Durant) has ever gotten on a 3-point shot — a clean-leaving three at the right time.”
After Reggie Jackson hit two free throws, the Thunder still had to make one last stop as Serge Ibaka pressured Carlos Delfino's 3-pointer from the right corner.
“It came down to a single possession of good defense,” Long said, “a good job challenging the 3-point shot. Delfino had a hot hand in the fourth quarter, but the defense was stout by the Oklahoma City Thunder.”
Barry said, “Serge Ibaka had a nice contest and the Thunder escaped to take a three-game lead, which for all intents and purposes ends the series.”
After the game, Barry said the Thunder's offense reminded him of the Cleveland Cavaliers with LeBron James as Durant scored 41 points. “He was at the top of the key all night long, trying to create shots.”
On the FSOK postgame, analyst Nancy Lieberman praised the Thunder's toughness down the stretch, noting it shot 93 percent of its free throws in a hostile environment and made only four turnovers in the second half.
“This was an unbelievable victory, mentally and emotionally,” she said.
The Thunder's strong first-half performance earned praise from the ESPN studio crew of Jalen Rose, Michael Wilbon and Bill Simmons. They raved about Durant's 27- point performance and the team's 17-point lead.
“This is a statement game,” Simmons said. “Everybody was crossing off the Thunder after the Russell Westbrook thing. They still have the second-best player in the league and he's surrounded by good role guys. I'm not counting out this team.”
Simmons said he thought the team was playing with an “attitude.”
“We should mention a little feistiness on the part of the Thunder. We saw Perk's pick on (Patrick) Beverley. It seems like an angry Thunder team,” Simmons said.
Rose, a former NBA guard said, “On George Gervin's 61st birthday, we're talking about the remix: Iceberg Slim's 27 points in the first half.”
Rose said the team wanted to take care of business: “I think it goes to the fact that they lost an All-NBA performer. Let's get this series over with.”
*When Durant drove the length of the court and for a slam in the first quarter, Barry was amazed: “That's not what you normally see from a point guard, dribbling it the length of the floor and then throwing it down on the other team's center. … Delicious … oh, sweet!”
*Barry said he thought Durant's rip move should be outlawed with no foul called on the defender.