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illy Dee Smith and Self, who scored the winne

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illy Dee Smith and Self, who scored the winne

Postby kaisy on Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:32 am

Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - Upset that he let his teammates down with one of the worst games of his career, Kevin Durant vowed to be more aggressive so it wouldnt happen again. Mission accomplished. Durant scored 39 points on 25 shots Sunday and Russell Westbrook had a triple- double, leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 105-90 victory over Memphis in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals. After scoring just 11 points in Fridays Game 6 loss, Durant went to the basket early and often in this one to help the franchise reach the conference finals for the first time in 15 years. I just attacked, said Durant. I was so upset with myself for letting my guys down by not playing my game (on Friday). I wasnt aggressive at all, he said. But I stayed with it. I was just positive and confident and kept the faith in the things that got me here. The fourth-seeded Thunder took control of the game near the end of the third quarter, burying the scrappy Grizzlies under a barrage of three-pointers before snuffing out any spark of a comeback in the fourth. They moved on to face the third-seeded Dallas Mavericks, who swept the Lakers in the other conference semifinal. Game 1 is Tuesday in Dallas. Mike Conley had 18 points and Zach Randolph scored 17 to lead the Grizzlies, who had stayed alive with a comeback win in Game 6, but failed in their bid to become the first No. 8 seed ever to reach the Western Conference finals. We had a heck of a run, said Memphis coach Lionel Hollins. Westbrook had 14 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds for his triple-double, while James Harden scored 17 off the bench, including a trio of three-pointers during the Thunders big third quarter. But the teams success this season has had more to do with Durant than anyone else, which is why the Thunder couldnt afford a repeat of Game 6, when the NBAs leading scorer shot just 3-of-14 and all but disappeared as Memphis took control in the second half. I guess I can say it now: He stunk last game, said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. But he doesnt take anything for granted, so I knew he would come back and have a fantastic game. Durant overcame a slow start shooting to go 13-of-25 from the field, including 4-for-9 from three-point range after he was just 1-for-9 on Friday. He scored 13 points during Oklahoma Citys 30-24 third quarter, hitting a pair of threes during a 14-2 run. But Harden provided the biggest fireworks. He knocked down a trio of three-pointers, including one that gave Oklahoma City its largest lead till that point at 69-53, and twice buried threes with the clock winding down. Isolated against O.J. Mayo at the top of the arc, Harden dribbled back and forth between his legs, getting enough separation for a three-pointer that dropped in the final second to make it 72-58 heading into the fourth. The Grizzlies never got closer than 13 the rest of the way, while the Thunder pushed their lead as high as 20. The loss ended a spectacular run for Memphis, formerly among the NBAs most downtrodden franchises, which had never even won a playoff game before knocking top-seeded San Antonio out in the first round. Whats next, after the hangover of a playoff push that surprised most onlookers? Vacation, said Randolph. I wish we could still be playing, but you know ... and then his voice trailed off. That team is going to be good for a long time, said Brooks. Going into this series, we knew it was going to be a tough challenge for us. But we were up for that challenge. Our guys kept believing. Trying to shake off the feeling of Game 6, Durant instead continued his poor shooting in the first quarter. He was 2-for-9 but still scored eight points, including four during a 10-2 run that gave Oklahoma City an early 18-15 lead. The Thunder carried a 21-17 advantage into the second and went up by 11 when Durants three-pointer made it 40-29. Moments later, Westbrook found him for an alley-oop circus layup to keep the lead at 11. We have good eye contact, Westbrook said. Durant scored 18 points in the first half on 6-of-13 shooting and Oklahoma City took a 42-34 edge into halftime. He had nine points during the 14-2 run that pushed the Thunders lead from 52-49 to 66-51. Durant capped the burst with a block, then a three-pointer at the other end that had Hollins arguing for a foul at mid-court. Hollins was whistled for a technical -- one of four called in the third quarter -- and Durant knocked down the free throw. GAME NOTES:The Thunder franchise hasnt been to the conference finals since 1996, when the Seattle Sonics beat Utah in seven games before losing to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Finals....Oklahoma City won three of the last four games after falling down 2-1 in the series...Durant scored 41 points in the Thunders Game 5 series clincher against Denver in the first round...Westbrook and Serge Ibaka picked up technicals for the Thunder, while Marc Gasol got one for Memphis. Westbrook shoved Mayo after the Memphis guard took the ball out of his hands following a turnover...Mayo started for Sam Young again and scored 14 points...Six of Westbrooks 10 rebounds were on the offensive end. Robert Griffin III Pink Jersey . The Toronto Blue Jays starter was having success with a first-pitch fastball, but quickly found Cleveland batters were laying off his off-speed pitches. Robert Griffin III Authentic Jersey .ca! What an exciting start to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final series played by two highly skilled and gritty Original Six teams in Chicago Wednesday night. . The European champions say the 18-year-old Wallace will remain with his Brazilian club until the next off-season. Wallace, who will join fellow Brazilians David Luiz, Ramires, Oscar and Lucas Piazon at Stamford Bridge, is an under-20 international and considered one of Fluminenses most promising players. Robert Griffin III Red Jersey . -- The Philadelphia Union has reached a contract termination by mutual consent with star midfielder Freddy Adu. Robert Griffin III Jerseys . "We feel great about acquiring a talented player in Darrius Heyward-Bey," general manager Ryan Grigson said in a statement. TORONTO -- The Buffalo Bandits rallied from three goals down in the fourth quarter to shock Toronto 15-13 on Thursday night and close in on the first-place Rock in the National Lacrosse Leagues East Division. Shawn Williams led the way with four goals, John Tavares scored three including an empty-netter with 7.6 seconds left, Aaron Wilson and Jay Thorimbert had two goals each and Jimmy Purves, Dhane Smith, Billy Dee Smith and Scott Self added one each for the 5-3 Bandits. It was a diversified attack that included a string of fast-break goals in the last quarter that swung the final verdict Buffalos way. "We have a lot of new players on the team and a lot more depth," said Tavares, pro lacrosses all-time leading scorer. "The games weve won this year, weve had a lot of guys pitch in with one or two goals a game. "Thats our philosophy this year. We dont want to rely on just one or two guys. We want everybody to score one or two. It makes us harder to defend when everybody is a threat." Garrett Billings had four goals and four assists for the Rock (6-3). Colin Doyle, Blaine Manning, Kasey Beirnes and Stephan Leblanc scored two goals each and Josh Sanderson got one. Buffalo led 4-2 after one quarter and 6-5 after two, and Toronto was up 11-8 after three. Rock coach Troy Cordingley said the only thing good about his players performance was a 12-minute span of the third quarter when they scored five consecutive goals to grab a lead. "Twelve minutes doesnt win you a game," said Cordingley. "We werent on the same page. "We were awful in every aspect of the game. We were outworked, outwilled, loose ball retrieval was terrible, didnt get the saves when we needed them -- we were just awful. We have (played) some good lacrosse up (until) now and I guess it was time for a stinker. I dont know why they happen but it happens." Buffalo tied it 11-11 with three consecutive fast-break goals by Thorimbert, Williams and Billy Dee Smith within 61 seconds at the start of the fourth quarter. "The boys stepped up," said coach Darris Kilgour. "They knew we needed a spark. We got some chances to push the ball up the floor and they did a great job shooting. We shot a lot better in the fourth quarter than we did in the third." Billy Dee Smiths big goal came on a breakaway. Nobody laid a stick on him. "They didnt come to me so I just fired it," he said. "They were kind of slow going off (on a line change) and we took advantage of it." Williams then gave the Bandits the lead for a fifth time when he beat Rock goalie Nick Rose from a bad angle at 5:41, and Tavares made it 13-11 with a laser from the middle of the Rock zone to a top corner of the net at 8:11. Doyle ended the five-goal Buffalo run by picking a top corner of the net from the top of a power-play setup at 9:18, butt Self got another fast-break Bandits goal by shooting the ball through Roses legs at 11:01.dddddddddddd Billings replied at 11:50 when his shot sent the ball off goalie Anthony Cosmos left arm and into the net to shave Buffalos lead to 14-13. On his next trip down the floor, Billings sent a shot off a goal post. "Towards the end, I gave that post a little extra rub," said Cosmo. "Those are the ones that go your way sometimes. Our team battled all game. We needed a post to help us out and it worked out." Toronto had possession with 25 seconds left but a shot went wide of the Buffalo net and Tavares added his empty-netter. Hed been out of the lineup for a month with a strained calf muscle. "I felt quite exhausted out there," Tavares said afterwards. "I tried to do as much as I could without forcing my game. It felt good to be back." Cosmo loved watching his teammates score all those fast-break goals in the fourth quarter, especially the 13th and 14th Buffalo goals as supplied by defencemen Billy Dee Smith and Self, who scored the winner with 3:59 left. "Our defencemen are big, tenacious guys who also have good hands," said Cosmo. "They can bury the ball. Thats something our coaching staff instilled this year." Two teams that in the past have been known for solid defence combined for 28 goals. "We scored some good transition goals which always swells the totals," said Williams. "We buried chances when we needed to score." Thorimbert was dominant on faceoffs. Buffalo got possession of the ball on 25 of the 31 draws he took while Stephen Hoar and Sandy Chapman had only occasional success for the Rock. "(Thorimbert) was our player of the game," said Kilgour. "He did a great job for us. He controlled the game for us. We knew we were going to get a possession every time he went out there. It just gave us confidence to keep going. He also scored two huge goals for us. Thats sort of out of character for him so for him to finally get some success in the fast breaks he creates was really big for his confidence." Notes: The rare midweek game drew a crowd of 8,213 ... Buffalo outshot Toronto 53-47 ... On power plays, Buffalo was 1-for-3 and Toronto was 2-for-5 ... The status of two 37-year-old Buffalo forwards changed this week. Tracey Kelusky was placed on injured reserve and Mat Giles was activated to play his first game of the year ... Toronto deleted F Scott Evans, F Brandon Ivey and D Scott Johnston . . . F Rob Hellyer got to play after not dressing for the two previous Rock games ... Buffalo scratched T Jon Harasym, F Mike Hominuck and F Carter Bender ... Torontos next game is a home against Colorado next Friday . . . Buffalo plays its second game in two days when the Philadelphia Wings visit First Niagara Center on Friday night. ' ' '
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