Thunder Tie it Up 2-2
Let’s take one out of Pop’s book: Kevin Durant was “nasty” in the 4th quarter. After playing sidekick most of the game, one where Serge Ibaka went 11-11 and the Thunder bigs came up BIG, Mr. KD did his thing in the fourth quarter, when his team needed it most. He scored 16-consecutive points in the fourth quarter and the Thunder tied up the series by taking Game 4 against the Spurs, 109-103.
What’s surprised me most about the last two games has been the assist numbers for OKC. In games 3 & 4, they’ve racked up 50 assists- for a team that ranked last in assists this season, that’s definitely a sign of growth and maturation. We were all amazed by the team basketball Spurs played in Games 1 & 2, so let’s give the same credit to OKC for growing out of its iso-heavy offense into one that’s making the extra pass.
Durant began his barage on a fadeaway with 6:33 to play, and finished it on a jumper with 1:32 left. During that period, he outscored the Spurs 16-11. Take a look at Durant’s shot chart in the 4th, everything came around the free throw line or below -
“I wouldn’t say I carried us,” Durant said with a straight face. “I was able to make some shots.”
“[...] when Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins andNick Collison shoot 22-for-25 from the floor and Durant score 16 straight points during crunch time, no one in basketball can beat this team.” – Pop
We all know Ibaka for his defense and hustle, but he had a perfect game last night on the offensive side. Not often do we see the league leader in blocks go off for an 11-11 night, including one play that left Tim Duncan in the dust. He faked Tim Duncan into the air, cradled the ball in his right arm and threw it down in a manner that would make Bill Walton jump out of his seat.
Originally, I thought this series would go 6 games in favor of the Spurs. The last two games don’t change my pick for the winner of the series, but it’s looking more like a 7 game series at the moment. I can’t envision the Spurs losing Game 5 at home, and at the same time, I can’t see the Thunder (especially with that crowd) giving up Game 6 at their place. If anything, all we know after four games is that this series is everything we wanted it to be. In the remaining games, the Spurs will trust in their experience, making sure they don’t go away from their system. The Thunder, on the other hand, will put their trust in the best player on the court, which could count for more when it’s all said and done.
GAME 1 Spurs 101, Thunder 98
GAME 2 Spurs 120, Thunder 111
GAME 3 Thunder 102, Spurs 82
GAME 4 Thunder 109, Spurs 103
The best part is, for us fans, we don’t have to wait long for Game 5.