Thunder Reach West Finals, Heat Disappear In Game One

Game 7: (4) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (8) Memphis Grizzles, Oklahoma City Arena

  • Final Score: Thunder 105, Grizzlies 90.okc_logo
  • After a disappointing game four, Kevin Durant came back with a vengeance Sunday night to prove that his Thunder were no longer an up-and-coming force in the West and that they were here to stay. Durant had the best playoff performance of his career, and combined with Russell Westbrook’s triple-double and James Harden knocking in four three pointers off the bench, Zach Randolph and the Grizzlies didn’t have enough to extinguish the Thunder firepower.
  • Thunder: Durant 39 points, nine rebounds.
  • Grizzlies: Randolph 17 points, 10 rebounds.
  • Key Stats: Westbrook’s triple-double was just the fifth triple-double in a game seven in NBA history. Larry Bird, James Worthy, Scottie Pippen and Jerry West were the only other NBA players to previously accomplish this feat.
  • “I think that age is kind of out the window now. Usually, you hear young franchise. Now, we’ve grown up together and we’re getting better,” Westbrook said.”I think as long as we continue to stay humble and continue to work and try to get better, this team’s going to make that next jump.”
  • “Durant is a special player, one of the best players in the NBA,” Randolph said. “The kid is a gym-rat, he works hard. He’s one of my favorite players. You’ve got to give him kudos and give him respect.”
  • The Thunder won the series 4-3. They will start the Western Conference Finals in Dallas tomorrow night at 9 p.m. EST.

Game 1: (1) Chicago Bulls vs. (2) Miami Heat, United Center

  • Final Score: Bulls 103, Heat 82.bulls_logo
  • Once LeBron James spurned the Bulls for the Heat last offseason, many etched the Heat on the Larry O’Brien trophy and many also considered the Bulls big losers that offseason. Apparently no one told Derrick Rose and the Bulls, who finished with the number one seed in the East and proved on Sunday that the Heat do not have a clear pathway to a title. The Bulls focused on James, switching players on him, doubling him and relying on their bigs to keep him from easily penetrating to the basket. The Bulls’ efforts resulted in limiting James to 15 points, 10 points fewer than his playoff average, and 5-of-15 from the field.
  • Bulls: Rose 28 points, six assists.
  • Heat: Bosh 30 points, nine rebounds
  • Key Stats: The Bulls outrebounded the Heat, 45-33, and the Bulls had 31 second chance points to the Heat’s 8.
  • “We felt like we could compete against anybody,” Bulls center Joakim Noah said. “This is just a really exciting situation right now. The position that we’re in is unbelievable. Nobody believed that we could be in this position right now.”
  • “You play defense. You play defense hard and the shot goes up and they get an offensive rebound, kick it out for a three or get a layup or a dunk,” James said. “Those are demoralizing for a defensive team. We’ve got to figure out a way to clean that up.”
  • The Bulls are ahead 1-0. The Heat will look to even the score on Wednesday night at 8:30 EST.

About Michael A. De Leon

Michael founded Project Spurs in 2004. He started The Spurscast, the first Spurs podcast on the Internet, in 2005. Michael has been interviewed by the BBC, SportTalk, the Sports Reporters Radio Show, MemphisSportLive, OKC Sports Wrap and ESPN radio among others. He is a credentialed member of the media for the San Antonio Spurs and Austin Toros. He is also the founder of Project Spurs' sister sites, Toros Nation and Stars Hoops.