The Thunder have the Lakers exactly where they want them - down 3-1 and in front of an OKC home crowd that should be as ready as any crowd has ever been. They remember 2010, and tonight they get the chance to help their team cross the checkpoint to make history.
The Thunder's 4th quarter defense has been pretty amazing.
Does it end tonight? Three experts agree.
A good word from Mahoney:
Oklahoma City is simply that good. They can fail to click, work through frustrations, and still put away an inferior opponent. That’s the benefit of having two stars that are so outrageously productive (not to mention a third fighting through a tough series), and a supporting cast whose impact pops out on the court, if not on the stat sheet.
The Spurs are still the superior team, but if OKC can do away with the Lakers, the Thunder still have the advantage of the two most talented players on the court. Is that enough?
How has Andrew Bynum managed to stay healthy this season? The key may have been as small as altering the way Bynum runs.
This is a reminder of how close we really are to the alternate reality of OKC heading home tonight to try to save their season, down 3-1. The difference is that OKC has Kevin Durant, and the Lakers have Kobe Bryant.
This was worth noting when James Harden ripped out the Mavericks' hearts, and it is worth mentioning now - one of the big reasons why OKC's stars are so effective is that teams cannot afford to double-team them.
Here is an interview with Nick Collison, glue guy and elder statesman who has perspective on how the Thunder franchise has evolved.
LeBron James had a historically great game Sunday afternoon, but is his performance, and the rest of the team's, repeatable?
Greg Poppovich has been at this game for a long time, and sometimes it is surprising that the biggest keys to his success are the most simple.
The Spurs. They are waiting.
The Clippers fought to the very end. They never gave in, even despite the obvious mismatch. That is something to build on. Even so, the better team won.