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Thunder-Clippers: How Kevin Durant rallied from one of the roughest nights of his career

COMMENTARY — Kevin Durant was suffering through one of the worst shooting nights of his career until turning it on with 10 points in a 186-second span that may have saved Oklahoma City’s season.
by Berry Tramel Published: May 14, 2014

In keeping with the frustration of the day, Durant then missed two shots on one possession, and the Thunder looked finished, especially after Paul’s jumper made it 104-97 with 49 seconds left. But after a timeout, Durant nailed another 3-pointer, and when Jamal Crawford missed for the Clippers, the Thunder hurried the ball to Durant for a fast-break layup. It was 104-102 with 14 seconds left and set the stage for Russell Westbrook’s steal and game-winning foul shots.

Durant called it the wildest game of his career.

“Definitely frustrating,” Durant said. “I was missing some shots I felt good about. But that’s how the game goes sometimes. I just tried to stick with it and was able to hit some shots. Russ carried us the whole game.”

Durant took umbrage with Clipper coach Doc Rivers’ outrage over a replay review that kept the ball in Thunder possession with 11 seconds left. Durant preferred to talk about “the six plays before … that we made. We fought so hard, we went through so much adversity to come out on top. Sometimes that’s how the game goes.

“We just stayed together. We were down so much. It was a rollercoaster game. There was so much going on. We just stayed together and kept fighting. You’ve seen it with the Clippers. That’s what they did to us in Game 4.”

Indeed, the Clippers rallied from 16 down with nine minutes left to the beat the Thunder. But OKC trumped that comeback with a 13-point rally in the final four minutes. And now the Thunder has to win just once in the next two games to put the Clippers in the past.

Don’t bet on Durant going 3-of-17 again. But if he does, bet on Durant coming back.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at . He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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