Little Things Make Big Difference for Thunder


Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:23 pm
By: News On 6


Originally Published: May 10, 2011 9:9 PM CDT

Grant Belcher
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY – In a triple overtime thriller such as the Thunder’s win at Memphis on Monday, it’s hard to deny that the little things can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

The Thunder made the right hustle plays, weathered the Grizzlies comeback storm and hit shots when they really needed to.

And just as one play can make the difference in a huge game, one game can also mean the difference in a huge series.

Scott Brooks admitted that going down 3-1 in the series would have been a monumental task to recover from.

But instead, mere seconds and mere points have seemed to turn the 2-2 series back in the favor of the Thunder.

For one thing, OKC has now re-gained the home court advantage that it gave up when Memphis won the series opener in Oklahoma City.

The Thunder now have two opportunities – if necessary – to win at home and clinch a spot in the Western Conference Finals. The Grizzlies have a maximum of one more home game, and will have to win at least one on the road if they want to advance.

And coming home is working to the Thunder’s advantage in more ways than one.

A triple overtime game is exhausting for everyone involved, but severely demoralizing for the team that put its heart and soul into 63 minutes of basketball only to come away with another loss.

The Thunder will be re-energized, not only amped from a huge win but also having perhaps the league’s best fan base behind them to ease a short turnaround.

While the Grizzlies will try not to dwell on the loss, OKC coach Scott Brooks said he wants to make sure his team isn’t dwelling on a dramatic victory either.

“It’s a great win for us, we’re very excited and it was a crazy environment,” he said. “It was a lot of energy in the building and we came out and won the game, but that has no impact on Game 5; we have to do it all over again.”

Though the team didn’t have an official “practice,” Scott Brooks addressed the media at the practice facility on Tuesday.

The Thunder and Grizzlies will tip off at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Oklahoma City Arena.