Sunday, April 29, 2012
4/29/2012 01:30:00 PM | Posted by Ben Kenna | Edit Post
Ladies, gentlemen, and bozos everywhere….You was wrong to dismiss the defending champions. This is going to be a series.
Kevin Durant sank a 16-foot jumper with 1.5 seconds left to win Game 1 of his Thunder’s playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks 99-98, but as far as moral victories go, Dallas leads the series 1-0. The Mavs will not doubt kick themselves at wasting the opportunity to steal home court advantage, but they proved that they won’t be going down easily, as some familiar names kept their dream of a repeat alive, albeit at a small flicker.
The Big Bratwurst (Nowitzki) dropped in 25, with 11 coming in the 4th quarter, and The Matrix (Shawn Marion) chipped in with 17. But with all the talk of Oklahoma City’s 6th man (The Beard), people seemed to have forgotten about the Mavericks 6th, Jason Terry. He was immense, with 20 points off the bench on 8-10 shooting. Nowitzki even said, of his headbanded teammate: “We’ve gotta find a way to get Jet (Terry) that ball in the fourth quarter. He was on fire, but they were denying him everywhere, even all the way out to half court.” One will wonder, had the Mavericks held onto their timeouts, after the Durant shot, if they would have drawn up a play for the scoring hot Terry, or gone with something to the Big German. We’ll always wonder, I suppose.
For the Thunder, it was the usual cast of cats that did the bulk of the scoring. Durant had 25 points, but needed 27 shots to get there. Russ Westbrook was on fire from the beginning (4-4 out of the gate, on his was to a 13-23 shooting night, for 28 points), and it was a good night for the Congolese Conquistador (Serge Ibaka) to have a career high in points, with 22. Harden, his first game back since Metta World Peace threw one of 500 most famous elbows ever, plopped in 19 off the bench. In this author’s opinion, this is when the Thunder are at their most dangerous, if Ibaka is scoring big points. He also swatted away 5 shots.
FIVE THINGS THAT BOTHERED ME: OKC celebrating like they won the championship, OKC fans all given shirts to wear that were the Dallas colors, Kendrick Perkins running, Vince Carter being old, Hubie Brown.
FIVE THINGS THAT EXCITED ME: Dirk’s post-basket hand gestures, Serge Ibaka’s body, Durant’s tenacity, Ian Mahinmi’s name pronunciation, Westbrook violently firing up the crowd.