The Thunder begin preparation for the NBA Playoffs after topping Detroit. Here’s my recap – with a little video to help – that you’ll hear Thursday morning on KOSU-FM in Oklahoma City and Stillwater. Also please listen Friday morning to the NPR station for more from the Thunder as they talk Memphis Grizzlies. Heck, why aren’t you listening to KOSU every morning.
K-D and the Thunder made about as loud an in-season statement as they can make this time of year – calmly dispatching of the only team in the NBA with a record better than their own, snapping San Antonio’s 19 game win streak. Here’s my recap of the game… an expanded (and obviously visual version) of the story I filed for KOSU-FM radio. And it’s always fun when one of the fellas photobombs your stand-up…
If you missed my weekly KOSU-FM sports segment on Wednesday morning, you can still hear the pearls of wisdom here at www.kosu.org.
Be sure and listen tomorrow morning to the NPR station KOSU with Nikole Robinson-Carroll for my wrap of Thunder-Spurs action tonight.
It’s not that I thought Oklahoma State was disappointing in the way they battled back from a 9-0 deficit to start their NCAA tourney game against Gonzaga. They showed grit, and responded to Travis Ford’s call for effort at halftime. But they lost to Gonzaga 85-72 because a team that is good (Gonzaga is) will wear you down and keep you down if you are not on your best game. And OSU, despite all of its talent, did not have a chance of turning it on for their best game in the tournament.
What I mean is, teams that have problems mid-season like they did, Smart losing his cool and sitting out three games for getting into it with a fan on the road (even though the fan was a jerk). and the long losing streak the Cowboys were in the midst of at that time all added up to season-interruptus. They just couldn’t turn it back on when it mattered most. Sure, they played well down the stretch once Smart returned, but couldn’t come up with the bounces, the big plays, the boards and breaks they needed in the Big 12 tourney and this one and done tourney they call the Big Dance.
I hope the Cowboys gel next year and OSU can move closer to becoming a Final Four team I thought this year’s squad could have been. And we will be waiting to hear it from Smart’s mouth the answer he couldn’t really give at the NCAA press conference you can hear above. Once they know whether or not he comes back for his junior year, OSU will have an idea of how good they SHOULD be in 2014-2015.
This week on KOSU Sports Talk Michael Cross and I talk about the shocking season – or was it? – for Wichita State men’s hoops, OSU women and men prep for the post-season and why (I believe) the Thunder are just getting better and better prepared to win it all.
This week’s segment airs Wednesday morning at 630 and 830 on KOSU-FM in Oklahoma, but you can always go to the KOSU website later in the day (or week!) and check it out at KOSU.org.
If you missed our weekly segment on KOSU-FM this week, you can hear my thoughts as I yell at Michael Cross (just kidding) about Marcus Smart, the OKC Barons and more…
Oklahoma City reeled off 15 straight points in the closing minutes of the game, as Kevin Durant’s hot scoring stretch continued with 6 of 7 threes in his 46 point effort, as the Thunder rallied to beat visiting Portland 105-97.
Check out my recap and post-game sound on KOSU-FM Wednesday morning – and please listen to my SPORTS TALK segment with Michael Cross on KOSU.org.
If you miss the recap and the sound on KOSU, here it is…
The OKC Thunder avoided their first three-game losing streak in 11 months by battling past a slow shooting start to muscle the lowly Milwaukee Bucks 101-85 in Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant missed his first 8 shots from the field before a nasty fall on a blocked shot attempt in the second seemed to wake him up. K-D bounced back to score 33 points, grab 10 rebounds and hand out 11 assists. Serge Ibaka’s active defense included 17 rebounds and three blocks to go with his 17 points.
Durant, who fell hard trying to make a defensive stop in the paint in the second quarter, hit just 1 of 9 from the floor before the scary bang on his backside. But he bounced back in M-V-P fashion, hitting 7 of 9 from the floor the rest of the way. Coach Scott Brooks said he may excuse Durant from Sunday practice, depending on how his All-Star feels in the morning.
Jeremy Lamb showed his star continues to rise in the league, as he bounced back from a couple of off-nights shooting to 6 of 10 from the floor on the way to 17 points.
The Thunder scored an Oklahoma City-era low 10 points in the first quarter, shooting a dismal 29 percent from the floor in the first half, before they exploded in the third with 39 points (one more than they scored in the entire first half) and cruised to the win. They travel to Memphis on Tuesday.