It’s not like the Thunder was avalanched by vintage Clippers. Doc Rivers went with a screwball lineup of Paul, Griffin, Crawford, Danny Granger and Darren Collison. A mighty mite quintet that played with its hair on fire. The Thunder did not respond. The Thunder shriveled.
This no longer is a young team. This is a veteran team. This team has been through the playoff rigors. There was no excuse for this.
Durant let Paul get under his skin. Think about it. One of the keys to victory for LA was having a 5-foot-11 guard cover the 6-11 Durant. The Thunder offense stagnated. The Thunder defense wilted. Brooks seemed to stand on the sideline and fiddle. Foreman Scotty finally put defensive stopper Thabo Sefolosha back in the game with 2:57 left, but it was too late. The Clipper layup drill was on full assembly line status.
And now a series that would have been all but over has gone from a marathon to a sprint. A three-game series. The Thunder has homecourt advantage. But the Clippers have the mental edge, knowing they won Game 1 in a rout and Game 4 in what should have been a Thunder rout.
If the Thunder loses this series, Game 4 will no longer be hard to stomach. It will be impossible to forget.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at . He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.