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Remote patrol: TNT's Charles Barkley credits James Harden for helping pull out win

The Thunder's composure impressed Shaquille O'Neal, while Barkley pointed out that it's going to be tough for the Lakers to recover from this game.
by Mel Bracht Published: May 17, 2012

“Usually in the playoffs, the officials usually let you play a little more aggressive down low,” Miller said. “The way they are calling this is almost like a regular-season game.”

One call they apparently missed, Metta World Peace knocking down off Nick Collison and James Harden while trying to get through a screen, left Miller dumbfounded that a foul wasn't called.

“That was a nice WWF takedown right there,” Miller said.

TNT had some nice aerial shots of the huge crowd watching the game on the big screen outside the arena. “You don't think they love their basketball in this town?” Harlan said.

“That is awesome,” Miller said. “There is so much invested in this team and the relationship they have with their community.”

Halftime show

Shots of the Bricktown Canal had studio host Ernie Johnson speculating about a possible matchup between Oklahoma City and San Antonio, two cities with river walks, in the Western Conference finals. “That might be a first in playoff history,” he said.

Barkley said he liked how the Lakers were slowing the pace and thought that if it came down to the big men, the Lakers would win.

“They want to slow the game down because Oklahoma City has the best home-court advantage in the NBA right now. The crowd is magnificent. You want to slow Durant, Westbrook and Harden down.”

“The Lakers are trying to beat the hell out of these guys. That's the difference in the game tonight. There are some hard fouls going on.”

Short takes

— Interviewed by Craig Sager after the game, Durant on his late air ball free throw: “I have no words for that. I'm glad we won.”

— During an “Inside Trax” segment in the second quarter, Thunder coach Scott Brooks implored his team to play good defense. “Do whatever it takes to not let your man score. Be physical. Get into them. Get into the ball. Possess the shot. Block out.”

— Harlan on Serge Ibaka's second blocked shot. “He's out there playing hand ball.”

— Harlan on Durant slithering through the lane for a layup: “My goodness, a guy that big and that long should not move that fast.”

— Miller on Harden. “James Harden continues to come on that pick-and-roll. I'll let you know he's not afraid of contact.”

by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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