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Thunder-Spurs: Thunder players say urgency, not desperation, propelled them in Game 3

Don't tell Derek Fisher and Kevin Durant that the Thunder was desperate to win Thursday night. But whatever it was that energized the Thunder, it worked.
BY JOHN ROHDE Published: June 1, 2012

"I thought we just played hard," Perkins said. "We were at home, and we had a lot of support from the fans. We just played well. I thought our backs were against the wall. We've never been down really in the playoffs, so I think it's a good thing for us. It makes you lock in more and be focused. Kind of brings you down so you start doing the little things. That's when you come together even more."

Players and coaches seem to prefer the word "urgency" over "desperation."

"We played with urgency more so than desperation," Brooks said.

The tricky thing about desperation is this: Only a team that truly is in desperation can properly feed off it. The Spurs weren't desperate Thursday and the Thunder was.

"Let's be realistic here," TNT analyst Charles Barkley said in Thursday night's postgame show. "These guys (OKC players) played with Superman energy because they were down two-zip. There was no way for the Spurs to put themselves in that situation. … This was a sense of desperation by OKC. Let's give them credit."

Fellow analyst Kenny Smith added: "You can't mimic the sense of desperation when you're up 2-0. You can't mimic what they have. You know how you're sitting at home and everyone goes, 'What would you do if you were hanging on a ledge?' They're hanging on a ledge, Oklahoma City. You can't re-create and be hanging on a ledge with them."

What say you, coach Brooks?

"I don't necessarily totally buy that, but I understand there's definitely a hole when you're down 0-2," Brooks said. "You have to come out with urgency. With urgency, right from the start, you're not waiting for the game to come to you. You're going to attack the game. You're going to dictate the defense and the offense, and we did a better job of that."

Perhaps the best syntax came from Sefolosha when was asked if his team felt desperate in Game 3.

"I wouldn't say desperate," Sefolosha said, "but definitely desperate to come out and play better."

Leave it to the Swiss to decipher proper English.

One final, desperate thought: Doesn't Game 4 qualify as being even more desperate for OKC?

Think about it.

*Had the Thunder lost Game 3, it would have been one game away from elimination, but at least would get to play Game 4 at home.

*If the Thunder loses Game 4, it will be one game away from elimination and headed back to San Antonio for Game 5 on Monday.

Ergo, Game 4 qualifies as more urgent (desperate) for OKC.

Based on how the Thunder performed in Game 3, the more urgent (desperate), the better.


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