The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

May 4, 2014

Motivated Durant finds shooting touch, lifts Thunder over Grizzlies in Game 7

OKLAHOMA CITY — It was only a matter of time before he showed up. The Kevin Durant that had lit up the NBA on his way to a fourth scoring title and possible MVP selection was bound to make his presence known.

It took the magnitude of a Game 7 to bring out the true Durant, who scored 33 points to lead Oklahoma City to a 120-109 win over Memphis Saturday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“I got out of my own way,” Durant said. “I was thinking too much, worried about what you guys were saying. I was just thinking too much. The game of basketball is played off instincts and I realized I started playing basketball to have fun. I didn’t want to take the pure fun out of the game.”

The victory advances the Thunder into the Western Conference semifinals where they will play the Los Angeles Clippers-Golden State Warriors game. Game 1 is Monday in Oklahoma City. This is the fourth straight season the Thunder have made it to the semifinals.

“I know that we’re going to keep fighting,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “I know that we have a resilient group that loves to compete. We don’t like to lose. We always try to find ways to get better.”

After fighting through a hard-nosed Memphis defense for six games, Durant torched the Grizzlies in the winner-take-all contest. He shot 12 for 18 to go with eight rebounds and five turnovers. Memphis coach Dave Joerger had no answer for the all-star forward.

“Durant made a lot of shots,” Joerger said. “He made some tough shots, but he was aggressive. Durant came up one time and said ‘Hey, this is fun.’”

Russell Westbrook was just as electric posting 27 points ,10 rebounds and a career-high 16 assists. It’s his second triple double of the postseason.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Brace yourselves for what is likely bumpy road to playoffs

    In October of 2005, back when Butch Peters had Norman High ranked No. 5 on the gridiron and Karin Sexson had Norman North ranked No. 1 on the volleyball court, I wrote a column under the headline: “Two great teams … Who cares.” It was all ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Clash Football It’s a whole new ball game for Tigers and Timberwolves

    With just over two weeks until football practice officially begins Aug. 11, everyone is busy preparing for the upcoming season. After all, it’s one that will be unlike any other....

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • USA Basketball Durant tells media that he’s not looking too far ahead

    While most of the NBA’s offseason has been focused on players going home, max contracts and who gets Kevin Love, the reigning MVP has been pretty low key. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has stayed in the shadows for the most part while ...

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • OSSAA releases enrollment figures

    The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association released the preliminary 2014-15 ADM for classification purposes Friday and not much has changed for many of the area schools. Moore (2,265), Norman North (2,180), Westmoore (2,090), ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Swim regionals 1 Norman North’s Justin Wu qualifies for U.S. national

    Justin Wu made history last week when he qualified for the U.S. national swim meet. A senior at Norman North, Wu already owned several state records when he outpaced a field of college swimmers in the event....

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woodard joins successful soccer team in Stillwater

    Haley Woodard has been one of the preeminent multi-sport stars in the state for several years. The Norman North senior is a state champion in track and soccer and has been an integral part of a basketball team that’s been to back-to-back ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Posturing, predictions fly as conference plans for new season

    There’s plenty to enjoy about the Southeastern Conference’s annual cattle call in Hoover, Ala., where media of every description join players and coaches from each of the league’s 14 football teams to discuss the coming season. The best ...

    July 18, 2014

  • Roberson2 66ers heading south

    The last five years, the Oklahoma City Thunder have had an unsung hero in their rise to the top of the NBA. Along with the talents of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the franchise has had the services of one of the best developmental ...

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo