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Thunder-Lakers: Examining Oklahoma City's postseason perfection

The Thunder's versatility and variety of methods have been on display during its 6-0 playoff roll.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, Published: May 17, 2012

LOS ANGELES – En route to a 6-0 record this postseason, the Thunder has beaten its opponent about every way imaginable.

There have been two routs: A 95-79 victory on the road against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 3 with a lead that reached 26; a 119-90 victory at home against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 with a lead that reached 35.

There have been two comebacks in the closing minutes: Down seven with 2:31 left in Game 1 against the Mavericks; down seven with 2:08 left in Game 2 against the Lakers.

There have been friendly shooter's bounces go in Kevin Durant's favor: Off the left front of the rim, off the backboard and in with 1.5 seconds left in Game 1 against Dallas; off the front of the rim, around the side of the rim, off the backboard and in with 18.6 seconds left in Game 2 against the Lakers.

There have been the fortunate misses from opposing long-range shooters in the closing seconds: Two missed 3-pointers from Mavs sixth man Jason Terry in the final 4.9 seconds of Game 2; a missed 3-pointer in the right corner from Lakers guard Steve Blake with 3.9 seconds left in Game 2.

There have been heroics from starters and reserves; clutch possessions offensively and defensively; proper substitutions and timeouts at the proper moments.

It all has been so perfect, which helps explain OKC's perfect record so far in the playoffs.

Given this, should there be any reason for Thunder players to think they can't handle whatever the Lakers throw at them in Game 3 on Friday at 9:30 p.m. at Staples Center?

"You have to have confidence in it, but you can't become complacent and cocky with it," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of his team's timely ability to multi-task. "You have to respect your opponent. They're going to throw a lot of things at us and you have to be prepared. Our (the coaches') job is to prepare them and the players' job is to be prepared.

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