Oklahoma City was not about to get punk’d for a second time. Russell Westbrook (24 points) and Kevin Durant (26 points) were doing their thing. But it was James Harden (21 points) and Eric Maynor (15 points) who made all the difference in OKC’s 111-102 Game 2 win. Memphis hung around for much of the second half until the Thunder finally put them away early in the fourth quarter, a couple of Maynor threes pushing the lead up above 20. All night long, the Grizzlies’ guards left VCU’s finest and he continuously made them pay. Memphis, we can’t be mad at you though. Maynor normally scores…um, he normally never scores. With Harden, you knew a big night was coming from the minute he checked in. Mr. T rumbled his way to 11 free-throw attempts off the bench … Can we please stop describing Harden as having an old-man’s game? Nothing about slashing, double-pump finishes and big free-throw totals screams old. The beard blinds us all … For the first time this entire postseason, Marc Gasol (13 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks) and Zach Randolph (15 points, nine rebounds) didn’t dominate the mosh pit. Neither one was that much of a factor; Z-Bo seemed more concerned with testing his manhood against Kendrick Perkins on nearly every trip in the second half. We’ve been persuaded in the playoffs by Randolph’s moonshots and a run of good chemistry, but Memphis’ Achilles’ heel was their offense this year. At times, they’ve struggled to score. And last night, it hit them at the worst time, scoring just 17 points in the first quarter to fall behind by double digits, a lead that the Thunder never relinquished. If it wasn’t for Mike Conley‘s shooting (24 points, eight dimes) and O.J. Mayo‘s scoring (all 16 of his points in the second half), Memphis would’ve lost by at least 20 … Every time we hear Memphis coach Lionel Hollins talk in one of those end-of-quarter interviews, we think we’re listening to Shaft. Kinda funny considering the team he coaches is the opposite of smooth … If you want the definition of awesome, then we hoped you caught Derrick Rose‘s MVP acceptance speech. In an era of politically-correct answers and premeditated statements, Rose came off as genuinely touched and happy, not for himself but for his family and what this meant to them. He spoke from he heart. It’s stuff like that where you realize people aren’t lying when they say he’s one of the realest, and most humble superstars out there … We’re out like Chuck rapping.
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