A great scorer like TNT analyst Reggie Miller could really appreciate Kevin Durant's 18-point fourth quarter that helped Oklahoma City even the Western Conference Finals series at 2-2 against the San Antonio Spurs.
“It has been the Kevin Durant show in the fourth quarter,” Miller, a former Indiana Pacers star, said on Durant's alley-oop 3-point play that gave the Thunder a 100-90 lead. “And Mama Pratt, she's so proud of her baby boy,” he added as TNT showed Wanda Pratt, Durant's mother, cheering on the sideline.
TNT aired a clip of Thunder coach Scott Brooks instructing Durant in the third quarter that set up the fourth-quarter explosion.
“You got a shot, you got to take it,” Brooks told him. “Keep taking it.”
Analyst Steve Kerr agreed. “I would tell him the same thing.”
Kerr was impressed with how the Thunder team had jelled during the two home victories.
“Can they make the next step, which means go on the road and win either Game 5 or Game 7? We're watching the evolution of this team as we speak. Their execution is getting better. They're getting more cohesive as a unit from game to game. Will it translate to a trip to the (NBA) finals?”
Serge Ibaka's 11 of 11 shooting also got plenty of attention. After a third quarter dunk by Ibaka, Miller gushed, “Kevin who? Scoring champ what? That's Serge Ibaka!”
On the postgame show, Charles Barkley preferred to give most of the credit to Serge Ibaka and his 11 of 11 shooting.
“You can talk about him (Durant) closing, but this game was all about Serge Ibaka. He was amazing,” Barkley said.
Shaquille O'Neal also noted Durant's passing (eight assists) before his scoring onslaught. “I thought Kevin Durant did a great job of getting everyone involved early.”
*TNT had some technical problems with its graphics, which caused them to use the arena scoreboard and 24-point clock for a short period. Marv Albert also announced the Spurs led 26-24 after the first quarter when the score was tied.
*Fox Sports Oklahoma interrupted its Rangers-Angels telecast for its “Thunder Live” postgame show. Host Dana Larson said, “Kendrick Perkins played with a chip on his shoulder the size of a sequoia.”
Analyst Stephen Howard said, “Wow, it's all about the bigs. You look at them at the start, particularly Perkins and Ibaka, getting those early baskets.”
TV voice Brian Davis said the game “felt like a 15-round prize fight.”
*An “Inside Trax” segment entering the third quarter showed Brooks exhorting his team. “I need everything you have, everything. I want to contest every pass, contest every shot. I want to rebound and I want to run. I don't care about anything other than we're winning.”
*On the pregame show, TNT had a long segment about Barkley sightseeing on Friday in Oklahoma City, which included eating at Cattlemen's Steakhouse with Oklahoman sports columnist Jenni Carlson, taking a ride on a river boat cruise, working out in the Devon Boathouse and visiting the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial. Barkley was moved after the memorial visit.
“It's really powerful. You should go. … It was one of the most intense things I've done in my life,” Barkley said.
Barkley said both San Antonio and Oklahoma City were “fantastic.”
“San Antonio has some big ol' women, but two great cities,” he said.
*On the postgame show, a couple dressed in wedding garb got a lot of attention from TNT. The studio crew poked fun at the groom's thin hair style, saying he had a miniature double Mohawk. “You got to come home and shave your baby's head,” Barkley said.
*TNT noted some of its crew was too scared to stay at the Skirvin Hotel because of its legend of being haunted. The segment showed sideline reporter Craig Sager trying to act scared in his bed.
*Among the celebrity fans shown by TNT were Ryan Seacrest, NBA commissioner David Stern and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo.
*On the pregame show, Sager interviewed Spurs general manager R.C. Buford and Thunder general manager Sam Presti, who got his start in the Spurs' organization. In comparing the franchises, Buford noted that Tim Duncan and David Robinson had set the bar high.
“They (the Thunder) have similar-type personalities that are setting the bar high.”