The Edmond Sun


June 13, 2012

Durant rises to the occasion, Thunder rise past heat

OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant paced himself for three quarters. Even though it was the biggest game of his career, the Oklahoma City all-star didn’t try to do too much early on in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

But, as he has done the entire regular season and playoffs, the 3-time scoring champ chose to erupt in the fourth quarter and lead the Thunder to a 105-94 win over Miami at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Durant scored 16 of his game-high 36 in the final period. It was the type of performance expected from a league MVP, except it came from the runner-up.

In one sequence in the fourth, Durant displayed an array of skills that helped seal the game. With 1:17 he came up with an assist to Nick Collision to give Oklahoma City a 99-92. On the Heat’s possession, Chris Bosh missed a 3-pointer and Durant grabbed the rebound. He was then fouled and knocked in both free throws to put the Thunder over the century mark at 101-92 and close out Miami.

“I was just playing off my teammates,” Durant said. “Just taking what the defense was giving.”

Durant wasn’t alone. While he was waiting to get heated up, Russell Westbrook carried the team and picked his spots in the fourth to hit the Heat. The two stars combined for 63 points, 16 rebounds and 15 assists. They committed only four turnovers for the entire game.

“I thought we showed a lot of toughness in that second half,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “Really battling and fighting for every possession. I give our guys a lot of credit. They did a great job of competing in the second half. “

LeBron James paced Miami with 30 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Dwayne Wade added 19 points.

“We felt we had an opportunity in the fourth,” Heat coach Eric Spoelstra said. “And they just went away. They beat us at their game.”

As expected, the Thunder came out too excited. Their shots were long and the passes were all over the court.

Miami, on the other hand, looked like a team that had been in the same situation the season before. It had a 29-22 advantage heading into the second quarter.

However, it was the Shane Battier show early on. The veteran Miami forward was hitting from long range and playing smothering defense on Durant.|

It looked like the Heat were on the verge of pushing the lead to 20 before Fisher settled Oklahoma City down. He made consecutive baskets and came up with a steal.

Despite Durant being almost invisible in the first half, the Thunder only trailed 54-47 at halftime.

The third quarter Oklahoma City opened up on fire. They stormed back to tie the game at 60-60 behind an aggressive Thabo Sefolosha. That included a behind the back, no-look pass to Westbrook for a dunk.

The Thunder stopped settling for jump shots and took a page out of Miami’s playbook. Westbrook and Durant attacked the rim whenever they had the chance.

It was a Westbrook drive and foul that led to a 3-pointer right before the end of the third quarter. It gave Oklahoma City its first lead of the night at 74-73.

The momentum carried over into the fourth as the Thunder stayed on the attack, controlling the boards and forcing the Heat into contested jumpshots.

The Oklahoma City big men made Bosh a non-factor the entire night. Coming off the bench he was never able to make an impact.

“There is a difference between guarding the guy and making the guy feel you,” Brooks said. “In the second half we were making the guys feel us.”

Michael Kinney 366-3537

Text Only
  • spts-DC Brock Ruminer dive TD catch.jpg Deer Creek 2nd largest in Class 5A

    With the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association releasing enrollment figures, Deer Creek stands as the second-largest school in Class 5A with 1,252 students.
    Lawton Eisenhower, which had been a very strong football program in 6A, is now tops in 5A with 1,281 students.
    Schedules in football classification still remain the same until 2016-17. Del City will move back into 6A beginning in 2016.
    The statistics will not be deemed official until pending approval at the OSSAA’s board meeting next month.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson, Grissom take on more suitable roles for 2015 season

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins.
    The moves were made to aid OU’s defense. They could benefit both in the future.

    July 28, 2014

  • spts-OSU Yurcich.jpg Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.
    Yurcich and most of the Cowboys’ coaching staff attended the annual media golf outing  Wednesday at Karsten Creek. He, along with the other assistant coaches, talked about the upcoming season.
    “Every offense is going to be a little bit different from year to year, depending on the personnel,” Yurcich said. “I think you learn a little bit more about the players, because you know them for a longer time. You know a little bit more about the coaches you work with because you’re around them a little bit longer. All of those things factor into one more year of experience.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-EN Jaci Smith long backhand.jpg Wallar voted National Tennis Coach of the Year finalist

    The National High School Athletic Coaches Association honored  Dee Ann Waller, coach and teacher from Edmond North High School, as a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in tennis.   
    Eight finalists from across the nation were chosen to be honored during The National Coach of the Year awards banquet that took place during the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s national convention June 14-18, at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wy.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-Hershey Mary McKey.jpg McKey to compete in North American final

    Edmond’s Mary McKey, who attends John Carroll Catholic School in Oklahoma City, qualified for the Hershey’s Track & Field Games North American Final after winning the Hershey’s Oklahoma State Meet  June 28.
    McKey, 12, had the fastest time in the region that consists of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico and Puerto Rico. Hershey only accepts eight runners from North America.
    McKey is a Catholic grade school champion and the first Catholic student to qualify for the North American final. She is also a Jim Thorpe Games 400-meter      champion.
    The North American final will run Aug. 2           in Hershey, Pa.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former quarterback Bell has pedigree to dominate at tight end for Sooners

    The question came quickly to Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. Are there any plans to use Blake Bell at quarterback — in some capacity?
    “That’s funny, it keeps coming up,” Stoops said Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days. “Blake was recruited definitely as a quarterback. But when you look at him now after three years, he is the pro-type at tight end. He’s got great hands, great size. He can run. Natural spacing as far as where to be in his routes.”
    So, the answer is no.

    July 25, 2014

  • Smith ready to begin the next chapter with Ravens

    During his long drive to Maryland from his North Carolina home Sunday, veteran wide receiver Steve Smith had plenty of time to think about an offseason defined by a dramatic change in his life.
    After 13 years with the Carolina Panthers, Smith was cut in March following one of the least productive seasons of his career. The Ravens promptly signed him to a three-year, $11 million contract.
    Smith remained in a reflective mood as veterans officially reported to camp Wednesday. Smith, however, showed up Monday eager for his new start.

    July 25, 2014

  • Blackmon.jpg Local cops arrest NFL player on marijuana complaint

    The Edmond Police Department has released the incident report related to the arrest of ex-Oklahoma State star and current NFL player Justin Blackmon.
    Blackmon, 24, a product of Plainview High School in Ardmore, is a 6-1, 210-pound wide receiver in his second year with the Jacksonville Jaguars. At Oklahoma State University, he was a two-time Biletnikoff Award winner as the country’s best collegiate wide receiver.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former OSU line coach having impact on Texas staff

    It was quite possibly the biggest coaching coup of the offseason and Oklahoma State was at the wrong end of it — former Cowboy offensive line coach Joe Wickline joining the staff for Charlie Strong’s Texas Longhorns.
    “It’s always good when you go hire staff and you look at just getting the right people within your program. And, a lot of times, guys know a lot of Xs and Os, but it’s all just about developing a player,” said Strong, Tuesday during the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days. “Joe and I, we’ve coached together at two different places. But just with him being within his conference and knowing the conference, he’s been a great asset.”

    July 22, 2014

  • spts-ESF Max McGreevy state champ.jpg Santa Fe alum McGreevy makes U.S. Amateur

    OU’s Max McGreevy, an Edmond Santa Fe graduate, and University of Tulsa’s Logan McCracken qualified for the 2014 U.S. Amateur, the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) prestigious annual event featuring the world’s finest amateur golfers. This year’s championship will be held at the venerable Atlanta Athletic Club (AAC) in Johns Creek, Aug. 9-17.

    Qualifying Players
    Max McGreevy, Edmond 67-65—132
    Logan McCracken, Oklahoma City 69-66—135

    1st Alt. Garrison Mendoza, Clinton 69-71—140
    2nd Alt. Thomas Johnson, Norman 71-69—140

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo