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Kevin Durant

  1. Thunder-Spurs Game 3: The best defense is… well, a good defense for OKC

    Jun 1, 2012, 2:03 AM EDT

    Thunder power forward Nick Collison strips the ball away from San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan

    You have to fight the Spurs with defense. OK, I get that sounds remarkably stupid in its obviousness. Please try and hear me out. In Games 1 and 2, Scott Brooks, for reason beyond understanding, chose to go with offensive lineups. Particularly in the fourth quarter of both losses, he went with lineups featuring Russell…

  2. Thunder remind Spurs, everyone they are contenders with rout

    Jun 1, 2012, 12:22 AM EDT

    Kevin Durant, Thunder, Spurs, Tim Dunan

    The Oklahoma City Thunder would like to remind you that they are a very, very good basketball team. For days now the buzz had been about the Spurs’ 20-game win streak, how they played like the old man at the YMCA that schools the more athletic kids with the extra pass and smart positioning. But…

  3. Thunder need to get defensive Thursday or this series is over

    May 31, 2012, 2:54 PM EDT

    Spurs point guard Tony Parker celebrates his three-point basket against the Oklahoma City Thunder

    Scott Brooks doesn’t seem to have any answers. Neither did Vinny Del Negro or Ty Corbin. Nobody has for 20 games now. The San Antonio offense over the last month is as efficient a machine as the NBA has ever seen and unless the Thunder can find a way to slow Tony Parker and the…

  4. Thunder find some answers, still have many more questions

    May 30, 2012, 2:16 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs - Game Two

    If you were looking for them, there were glimmers of hope for the Oklahoma Thunder in this series from Game 2. Their “big three” showed up — Kevin Durant had 31, James Harden 30 and Russell Westbrook 27. There was a run, early in the fourth quarter, when the Thunder were able to clog the…

  5. NBA Playoffs: Thunder play well, but Spurs win while still seeming unstoppable

    May 30, 2012, 12:10 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs - Game Two

    The San Antonio Spurs have now played an even ten games in the NBA Playoffs and, amazingly, have won every one of them. The wins haven’t all been dominant — Tuesday night’s 120-111 victory ended up being one of their more difficult challenges this season — but it’s been astounding to watch the old, formerly…

  6. Thunder/Spurs Game 2: The rise of Westbrook, Harden

    May 29, 2012, 1:41 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs - Game One

    I said going into this series Russell Westbrook was the key to Oklahoma City’s chances against the Spurs — he needs to attack off the pick-and-roll, get into the lane and finish. Or kick it out. But he needs to disrupt the Spurs defense and put a lot of points on the board in the…

  7. Thunder-Spurs: The life and times of Kevin Durant in Game 1

    May 28, 2012, 2:05 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs - Game One

    Momma said there’d be days like this. Kevin Durant had a pretty bizarre Game 1 vs. San Antonio. He couldn’t get it going in the first half, shook loose in the third quarter, and then was bottled up by San Antonio in the fourth. He hit free throws, a result of the Spurs’ defensive approach…

  8. Popovich reaches into toolbox, makes adjustments, Spurs win Game 1

    May 28, 2012, 12:18 AM EDT

    San Antonio Spurs Tim Duncan celebrates in the final seconds of Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder in San Antonio

    There’s a reason the Spurs haven’t lost a game since before you sent your taxes in (19 in a row now) — they can adapt and take what you give them. Gregg Popovich is the master of adjustments and this roster is a huge toolbox of options for him to choose from. He and the…

  9. Report: Magic ‘targeting’ Thunder, Spurs executives

    May 27, 2012, 11:24 AM EDT

    Dwight Howard

    Now this is more like it. No more Shaq nonsense. No more ridiculousness. The Magic are reportedly in pursuit of interviews for three members from the Spurs-Thunder tree for their open GM position. From Yahoo! Sports: Thunder vice president and assistant general manager Troy Weaver and Spurs assistant GM Dennis Lindsey have been targeted, and…

  10. Video: Larry Bird and Magic Johnson remind you what everyone’s playing for

    May 26, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT

    Larry Bird Magic Johnson

    ESPN’s rafters commercials have been really good. The Kevin Durant one held the promise of future, the Paul Pierce one held the reminder of glory for a franchise that hasn’t seen a title since 2008. The new “A Champion Will Rise” commercials speak to the league’s history, and feature two of the greatest to ever…

  11. Playoff Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

    May 25, 2012, 2:54 AM EDT

    duncan-parker

    SEASON RECORDS San Antonio 50-16 (1 seed) Oklahoma City 47-19 (2 seed) SEASON SERIES San Antonio took the season series 2-1, however Manu Ginobili missed all of them (which might worry Thunder fans), the games were in March and earlier, bottom line these teams are different now. OFFENSE/DEFENSE RANKINGS (points per 100 possession)
 San Antonio:…

  12. Thursday And-1 links: Dirk Nowitzki thinks Popovich is the best

    May 24, 2012, 7:19 PM EDT

    Dirk Nowitzki

    Here is our daily look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points. • Tradition says you say your coach is the best in the league, but…

  13. Kevin Durant, LeBron James head All-NBA Teams

    May 24, 2012, 2:39 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat

    Here’s the problem with nitpicking the All-NBA teams — there are no bad players on any of the first three. You can argue if you want (and as I would) that LaMarcus Aldridge deserves a spot on the third team more than Carmelo Anthony or Dirk Nowitzki, but that doesn’t make the guys on the…

  14. Lakers-Thunder Game 5: Thunder all business in win over Lakers to advance to Conference Finals

    May 22, 2012, 2:10 AM EDT

    Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant

    The future is now. It can be said that the Thunder have done nothing more than advanced to the same position they reached last season before falling to another team from Texas in the Western Conference Finals. But this doesn’t feel that way. The Thunder exorcised their Mavericks demons in the first round, then took out…

  15. Lakers look to find their old selves, avoid Game 5 elimination by Thunder

    May 21, 2012, 6:34 PM EDT

    Serge Ibaka, Russell Westbrook, Metta World Peace, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol

    Two years ago, when they won the title in 2010, the Lakers were the team that came back and won games like the one they lost Saturday. Back then it was the Lakers closing on a 25-7 run and getting the defensive stops. It was Kobe Bryant hitting the big shots. It was their opponents…

  16. Lakers-Thunder Game 4: The scapegoating of Pau Gasol

    May 20, 2012, 4:18 PM EDT

    kobe-game-3-thunder

    Someone has to go down for this. It might as well be Pau Gasol, I suppose. Because it sure isn’t going to be Kobe Bryant. When the Lakers lost to the Thunder Saturday night, blowing a nine-point fourth quarter lead to do down 3-1 in their Western Conference Semifinals series with OKC, it was Kevin…

  17. Westbrook, Durant find the perfect balance in Game 4 win over Lakers

    May 20, 2012, 5:16 AM EDT

    westbrook-game 4

    During the Thunder’s playoff run last season — one that ended in a loss in the Conference Finals to the eventual champion Mavericks — there were constant questions about whether or not Russell Westbrook was a good long-term fit to play alongside Kevin Durant. One year later, now on the verge of taking down the…

  18. Lakers-Thunder Game 4: Kevin Durant and a new era dawning

    May 20, 2012, 3:17 AM EDT

    Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant

    Things change. It’s inevitable. And on Saturday night, you have to wonder if the guard changed officially in the Western Conference, and the NBA. 103-100, Thunder over Lakers. Kobe Bryant was the closer. The dagger. The Black Mamba. As recently as Friday night, he was the ultimate clutch weapon (as long as we’re only talking…

  19. Video: Kevin Durant hits the game-winning three to beat Lakers in Game 4

    May 20, 2012, 2:40 AM EDT

    Durant-game-4

    As Russell Westbrook led the charge offensively for the Thunder in their Game 4 win over the Lakers — finishing with a brilliant 37 points on 15-of-26 shooting — Kevin Durant seemed pleased to let that happen. But once the Thunder had made it all the way back from a deficit that hung at around…

  20. Lakers-Thunder Game 3: L.A. wins free throw contest by a lot, wins game by 3

    May 19, 2012, 3:15 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Three

    Forty-two free throws is a lot of free throw attempts. Forty-one free throws made is a lot of makes. The Lakers got one, made the other, and walked out of Staples with a win in Game 4, 99-96. We can talk about a lot of things. The way that the Lakers attacked the Thunder defensively,…

  21. Is Game 3 must-win for the Lakers? Yes, yes it is.

    May 18, 2012, 3:53 PM EDT

    Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant

    One last time we can thank the lockout for the joys of a condensed schedule — the Lakers and Thunder are going to play the rare playoff back-to-back the next two nights. Which clearly favors the younger legs and better athletes of the Thunder. It’s going to be a lot harder for the Lakers to…

  22. Andrew Bynum says Lakers know how to slow down Thunder

    May 18, 2012, 1:14 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Lakers' Bynum drives past Oklahoma City Thunder's Perkins during Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference semi-finals in Oklahoma City

    The Los Angeles Lakers contained the Oklahoma City Thunder offense in Game 2 — Russell Westbrook shot 5-17, the Thunder shot just 42 percent as a team, they averaged just 90.6 points per 100 possessions in the game, and the Lakers slowed the game down to 85 possessions. And the Lakers still lost. That should…

  23. Anatomy of a meltdown — it wasn’t Steve Blake, Lakers blew game before that

    May 17, 2012, 10:23 AM EDT

    Kobe Bryant, Steve Blake, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol

    The Lakers were up 7 points with 2 minutes to go. And lost. And by lost, I mean lost any real chance at the series. Do you really think the Lakers can win four of the next five games? The Thunder are the better team, the Lakers could not afford to give away a game,…

  24. Video: Kevin Durant’s game-winning bucket to beat Lakers

    May 17, 2012, 2:42 AM EDT

    Kevin Durant

    The Lakers had this in the bag, up 7 with two minutes to go. But then the Thunder went and won a game that felt a lot like how the Lakers used to win games — a little bit of luck and some great shots. The last of the those shots is above. Kevin Durant…

  25. Lakers-Thunder Game 2: A Thunder magic trick, a Lakers disappearing act, and a change of the guard

    May 17, 2012, 1:40 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Lakers v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One

    In Game 1, everything went wrong for the Lakers, everything went right for the Thunder. Thunder won. In Game 2, for 46 minutes, at least some things went right for the Lakers, everything went wrong for the Thunder. The pace was slow. The defense was incredible for the Lakers. The Thunder weren’t hitting jumpers. A…

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