Originally written on StraitPinkie.com  |  Last updated 5/4/13
For the Oklahoma City Thunder this playoff series was tough in many ways. They lost their star player Russell Westbrook to injury and the series went to six games. Last night the Thunder beat the Houston Rockets 103-94. Now many people are saying that with the trouble the Thunder had with the Rockets and Westbrook out the team should concentrate their efforts for next year. I am sure that Kevin Durant and the rest of the team are not looking to bow out gracefully of this year’s playoffs. Especially the way the team played last night. In last night’s game Durant scored 27 points and Kevin Martin dropped 25 to help the team move on to round two of the playoffs. Martin was acquired by Oklahoma City during the trade for James Harden. Martin struggled in Game 5 scoring only three points, but showed his resiliency by his point production last night. He even had 21 of his 25 points in the first half. Durant was very pleased with Martin saying, “I had faith that he was going to come out and be aggressive and have a really good game. He’s a big-time scorer. He carried us in that first half when I was struggling.” With Westbrook gone the Thunder needed someone to step up and help take the burden off of Durant to be the sole provider of points for the team. Hopefully Martin can keep this up throughout the playoffs if Oklahoma City wants to reach the NBA Finals. “It was just coming in there, trying to set a tone. The last 48 hours after Game 5, I couldn’t even look my teammates in the eye because I felt so bad. It was going in there and playing like I have been in my career and jump-starting us to a victory,” Martin said after the game. Thunder’s coach Scott Brooks thought that last night’s victory was one of the team’s best performance of this season. Brooks said, “That was one of our best Thunder team wins that we’ve had all season. The guys really laid everything on the line, and that’s what playoff basketball is all about. That’s what team basketball is all about, and I liked the guys’ commitment to helping each other out.” Kevin Durant has now scored more than 20 points in 32 straight playoff games. Only Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan have done this feat for a longer stretch. In the beginning of the game there things got heated when Francisco Garcia and Kendrick Perkins started pushing each other after a foul by Garcia. They both got technical fouls in the first quarter. Right after the scuffle Perkins started to do several push-ups. Plus there was another fight between Durant and Asik that got them each a technical foul. The Thunder will face the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday and it will be interesting to see how the Thunder will do against the Grizzles without Westbrook.
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