As the season is coming closer and closer, we’re going going to bring you our thoughts of the top 20 games since the Thunder moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City. We broke it down to about to about 50 games, and then narrowed it down to 20. We decided most were going to be wins, we had one game that was a loss in the top 20, and it’s easily the most memorable lost. Well, for me at least. Without further adieu:
When: June 2, 2012
Location: Oklahoma City, OK – Chesapeake Energy Arena
Final Score: Oklahoma City Thunder 109, San Antonio Spurs 103
Big Players: Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins: 18-for-20, 41 points, 14 rebounds, 4 blocks. Kevin Durant 36 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds.
Kevin Durant, along with his two big men, Ibaka and Perkins helped even the series at two games each. While some called this game one of the biggest games in Thunder history before it started. Oklahoma City answered with one of the biggest second halves in team history. I’ll include Seattle in that discussion. While they only scored 54 points in the second half, (more points in the first half, 55), they played one of the best ones, in my opinion.
Kevin Durant who struggled in the first half shooting, allowed himself to find his teammates, and it kept Oklahoma City in the ball game.
“I didn’t tell myself that I need to go score because what we were doing was working,” Durant said.
A lot of people would assume Russell Westbrook would pick up the slack with Durant in a mini-slump. However, it wasn’t. It was Serge Ibaka who had a career high 26 points on 11-for-11 shooting. That was the second best shooting night in NBA history. Oklahoma City needed every point too. It seemed every time Oklahoma City needed a shot early on, Ibaka was the one that did it. He was also 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
Kendrick Perkins wasn’t to be outdone either. He came into game 4 with just 12 points in the first three games. There were a lot of questions on whether or not Coach Scott Brooks should bench him in favor of someone else for the rest of the series. He shut that down with this game. He was balls to the wall good.
Then there was Kevin Durant. Durant had 18 of his 36 points in the final seven minutes of the game. Those were seven of the best seven minutes in his entire career. In fact, Durant scored all 18 points in the fourth quarter of a span of five minutes and two seconds.
Oklahoma City would go on and tie the series with this victory, then take the next two games to win the series.