TNT analyst Steve Kerr called it a “changing of the guard.” The Oklahoma City Thunder's biggest win in the four-year history of the franchise brought a flood of compliments from Kerr and the other TNT announcers.
“It just feels like Oklahoma City senses it,” Kerr said early in the fourth quarter after the Thunder had built a 10-point lead. “They are ready to break through. It's like a changing of the guard right before our eyes.”
Said TNT analyst Reggie Miller, “We've seen a team grow up in front of our eyes and mature.”
The Thunder had to withstand a furious rally by the Spurs but pulled out the victory aided by James Harden's miraculous 3-point shot that Kerr called “maybe the shot of the year for Oklahoma City.” Harden drained a 3-pointer to give the Thunder a 106-101 just before the shot clock expired.
“A little shimmy, a pullup jumper for a three and Harden just sucked the life out of the whole building,” Kerr said.
On the postgame show, Shaquille O'Neal said he is expecting a louder than normal Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday night when the Thunder can clinch a berth in the NBA Finals for the first time. “I'm going to steal a quote from Chuck, Wednesday in Oklahoma City that place is going to be rocking.”
“On fire,” Charles Barkley added.
Barkley, who had picked the Thunder to win the game, said the visitors outplayed the Spurs. “My biggest concerns have been Russell Westbrook and James Harden, and they finally stepped up. What you saw tonight is Oklahoma City is a better team. They are just too young for the Spurs.”