The Norman Transcript

National Sports

April 23, 2014

Tony Allen’s hounding defense a challenge, even for Durant

OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant is tired of hearing about Tony Allen’s defense.

Durant scored 36 points, mostly against Allen, in Oklahoma City’s loss to Memphis in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.

It wasn’t a typical Durant performance, though — he made just 12 of 28 shots, and his usual smoothness and efficiency were absent as the Grizzlies beat the Thunder 111-105 in overtime Monday night to tie the series at a win apiece.

Durant, the NBA’s scoring champion, went on the defensive Tuesday afternoon. When asked about Allen’s effort, he paused five seconds and chuckled before answering.

“He’s good,” Durant said. “He’s good at dodging screens. He’s physical. Everybody plays the same way with me, though.”

When asked about Allen a few

minutes later, a more agitated Durant again paused before responding.

“It’s not like I’m just totally getting locked down,” Durant, who is averaging 34.5 points in the series, said. “He’s making it tough. It’s not like I’m just non-existent. I don’t know what you guys have been watching. He’s just making me work, like everybody else will.”

Allen has been getting on people’s nerves for years. The 10-year veteran was on the NBA’s All-Defensive first team in 2012 and 2013 and was on the second team in 2011.

Before the series began, Durant called him one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. Allen gives up 5 inches to the 6-foot-9 Durant, but he makes up for it with toughness, speed, quickness, strength and unpredictability.

Memphis coach Dave Joerger said Allen executed his part of Memphis’ game plan against Durant perfectly in Game 2.

Though Durant scored his points, he never found a rhythm. Tayshaun Prince started the game, but Allen played 35 minutes and got most of the time against Durant. Joerger hopes his stopper can deliver a repeat performance Thursday in Game 3 in Memphis.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Tiger in the hunt after day one at Bridgestone

    AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational. Not just from back surgery, but from making bogeys....

    August 1, 2014

  • Cardinals Red Sox Trade Cardinals land Lackey, shore up rotation

    BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday’s deadline....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Defensive indefernce in Big-D as injury suffles front seven

    OXNARD, Calif. — Rookie pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence’s broken foot didn’t send the Dallas Cowboys scrambling because they’re already in rebuilding mode with their defensive line....

    August 1, 2014

  • Rams’ go with youth in secondary

    ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams secondary doesn’t have veteran leaders, high-dollar talent or big names. Those handling spots on the last line of defense are confident they won’t be a liability....

    August 1, 2014

  • Tigers go all in on Price

    DETROIT — When David Price was finally traded, it was to an unexpected bidder. The Detroit Tigers added another Cy Young Award winner to their star-studded rotation, acquiring Price from Tampa Bay in a blockbuster deal Thursday....

    August 1, 2014

  • Oakland lands Lester, Gomes in exchange for Cespedes

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics won the Jon Lester sweepstakes, acquiring the left-hander and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Boston Red Sox for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes before Thursday’s trade deadline....

    August 1, 2014

  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

  • Cowboys sign tackle Smith to 8-year extension

    OXNARD, Calif. — Tyron Smith has a new contract that will probably make him the most important blocker for the next Dallas quarterback after Tony Romo....

    July 31, 2014

  • Quarterback questions abound with big stars gone from SEC offenses

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Quarterback battles and signal-caller questions abound in the Southeastern Conference going into preseason camps around the league. Big names, not so much....

    July 31, 2014

  • Jones says Brent out of rehab, NFL question next

    OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says former defensive tackle Josh Brent is out of rehabilitation and could have his future with the NFL resolved before the team leaves training camp in California in two weeks....

    July 31, 2014