Since I went to the game today, we'll do this game recap a little differently. I left around 2pm from just outside Tulsa (Sapulpa), so we could get there fairly early, and enjoy some fine food in Bricktown before the game. Its always a tough choice deciding where to go to eat in Bricktown. I always see Toby Keiths "I love this bar and grill" from the highway, and was just dying for a steak today, so I figured it'd be a good place to eat. Last time I tried, it was so packed they weren't even offering people wait times, but that was also before the Miami Heat game. Tonight, it was the Kings, so it wasn't nearly as packed and we arrived early enough to sit down and grab a table without a wait.
I'd heard good things about the place, so I figured I was in for a great pre-game meal. I'll admit, I was a little disappointed, the steak, while cooked perfect wasn't seasoned at all, and just didn't have much flavor. The sides were good, and I downed a couple of beers, but overall for the price, I can certainly think of better places to eat. I'm not trying to dog on the place at all, as it has great atmosphere, and was really nice overall, just overpriced for what you got. Of course, its in Bricktown, so I guess you have to expect higher prices when going to eat there.
Once we were done with dinner, we made the trek back to the Ford Center, arriving about 15 minutes after the gates opened, and decided to walk the lower concourse to stop by and see our boy Heck for a couple of caricatures. I was pleasantly surprised on the way to see the "Item of the Night" was a $30 throw blanket on sale for $9. If you make it down any games, always check the little program they give you at the door to see what the item of the night is, because, sometimes you get some really good deals in there.
So anyway, I guess I should get to the game, huh? The first quarter the Thunder played really well, it seemed like they were going give themselves a nice little lead, which they did, finishing the first up 11 points. I thought they were well on their way to a blowout victory. It was beginning to look even more like one in the second when the Thunder jumped up to around a 20 point lead, but let it slip back to 13 before the half.
You really have to hand it to the Kings, I thought they played really tough all night long, and in the second half it really seemed like they were knocking down everything. Late in the 4th, after the Thunder ran the lead from 105-104 to 110-104, the Kings continued to fire and nail shots down the stretch to keep it interesting. They just refused to let this game end with the Thunder ahead.
It all came down to a final play with .3 seconds left, and the Kings inbounding the ball with a chance to hit a 3 for the win, or 2 to tie. Kevin Martin struggled to find a way to get the ball inbounded where a shot could be put up quickly, so he called a time out...only problem? No timeouts left. That resulted in a technical foul, Durant free throw, and Thunder ball. Game over.
This is the kind of game the Thunder would have lost 2 months ago. Despite losing their big lead, it was great to see the Thunder scratch and claw their way to the win. It was almost as if we were watching the team grow up before our eyes and learn how to fight off blowing a big lead, and doing whatever it took to keep themselves on the high side.
Kevin Durant was once again incredible, this guy put up 39 points on 16-25 shooting (3-4 from downtown), pulled down 7 boards, assisted 4 times, and had 2 blocks. How is this guy not on the All-Star team? Seriously. If Durant were to start the season the way he's been playing in 2009, he'd easily be in the hung (if not leading) for a scoring crown in just his second season. The Thunder orginization really needs to do whatever it takes to lock this kid up forever. Hey, A-Rod got a 10 year contract in baseball, why not give Durant the same? I know, thats an insane thing to do, I just hate to think about him ever leaving this team.
Great game tonight, exciting to the end. The crowd was INSANELY loud the entire 4th quarter. Its crazy, if I were a player, I would definitely want to play in front of a crowd like this every night.