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
  • Tour leader Nibali says he’s ‘flag-bearer’ against doping

    CARCASSONNE, France — Barring a disaster for him on French roads from now until Sunday, the man who looks set to win the Tour de France says he understands that cycling is still paying for its longtime doping plague....

    July 22, 2014

  • McIlroy will emerge even stronger than ever

    HOYLAKE, England — The celebration began long before Rory McIlroy had a chance to drink out of the claret jug....

    July 22, 2014

  • Petrino ushers Louisville into ACC

    GREENSBORO, N.C. — Bobby Petrino turned Louisville into a top-10 team nearly a decade ago. Now, more than two years after a scandal derailed his career, Petrino is back with the Cardinals as they enter the Atlantic Coast Conference....

    July 22, 2014

  • Stewart still riding high

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tony Stewart heads into the busiest week of his year riding high from a win in his return to sprint car racing. Stewart raced in a sprint car last weekend for the first time since he broke his leg in an extracurricular ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Witness: Sterling must sell to pay debts

    LOS ANGELES — The chief financial officer of Donald Sterling’s properties said Monday that the billionaire may be forced to sell a large portion of his real estate empire to cover $500 million in loans if he persists in refusing to sell ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Mikolas pitches Rangers past sloppy Yankees

    NEW YORK — Miles Mikolas earned his first win as a starter, pitching into the eighth inning Monday night and leading the Texas Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the sloppy New York Yankees. Trailing by a run with none on and two outs in the ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Angels with latest big move before deadline

    Oakland general manager Billy Beane acted boldly, trading top prospect Addison Russell in a deal that brought starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Athletics....

    July 22, 2014

  • Jeter turns small part of attention to business

    NEW YORK — Pedestrians craned their necks as Derek Jeter stood in front of a food truck parked across the street from Central Park....

    July 22, 2014

  • Ortiz homers twice, Red Sox rout Blue Jays

    TORONTO — David Ortiz hit the 452nd and 453rd home runs of his career, moving past Boston great Carl Yastrzemski into 36th place on the all-time list, and the Red Sox won their fifth straight game Monday night, routing the Toronto Blue ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Dodgers edge out Cardinals

    ST. LOUIS — Adrian Gonzalez hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning off St. Louis Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal and the Los Angeles Dodgers salvaged the series finale with a 4-3 victory Sunday night....

    July 21, 2014