TNT studio analyst Charles Barkley was right in his pregame analysis. He said if the Thunder scored 100 points, it would win Game 4. The team totaled 103 and took a commanding 3-1 lead in the series in another exciting comeback win that TNT captured well.
And finally, Barkley is talking about coming to Oklahoma City for the Western Conference finals – a promise he has yet to make good on. TNT will have exclusive coverage of the Western Conference finals.
“I got to get some new cowboy boots for OKC,” he said on the postgame show. “Have you ever seen a black in a Western?”
His studio mates noted that occurred in Mel Brooks' “Blazing Saddles.”
TNT play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan acknowledged another miraculous comeback by the Thunder.
“The Thunder has broken the collective hearts of the Lakers for the second time in the four-game series,” he said.
Harlan, the son of former Green Bay Packers executive Bob Harlan, was at his best in calling Kevin Durant's go-ahead 3-point shot with 13.7 second left.
“This is for the lead. Kevin Durant, the NBA's leading scorer, with a feathery 3-point jumper that puts the Thunder ahead.”
Barkley credited Russell Westbrook for getting the Thunder back in the game.
“Russell Westbrook was fantastic. He kept him in the game when everyone else was struggling,” he said. “Kevin Durant was a great finisher.”
He also took a shot at Kobe Bryant for continuing to shoot when he was cold (2 of 10) in the fourth quarter.
“He took a lot of terrible shots,” Barkley said.
Analyst Shaquille O'Neal credited the Thunder's composure in becoming the first team to rally from a nine-point deficit against the host the Lakers for a victory since 1983. “I did not see one ounce of panic in this young team,” he said.
A TNT graphic in the fourth-quarter showed the Thunder already had won five playoff games by six points or less. “This team is playoff tested,” game analyst Reggie Miller said.
Steve Kerr joined the team of Harlan, Miller and sideline reporter Craig Sager in providing superb commentary. TNT, however, had to bring up the Thunder's move from Seattle, even though the Thunder has played four seasons in Oklahoma City. A graphic noted that the franchise had lost 14 straight playoff games in Los Angeles.
“Out of respect for Seattle SuperSonics fans, I'm going to wipe out that claim. As for the team in Oklahoma City, it's totally separate. They got up and moved, and we can't connect that.”
He also said Seattle fans have to be shaking their heads over the Thunder's potential.
“They left you. They broke your heart.”