Reportedly, Westboro Baptist Church sent some of their traveling dillholes to picket in Thunder Alley. (I didn’t see any of them, but then I was sitting in the dark most of the night, a piece of electrical hardware on the next block having given out with an earth-shattering kaboom.) I console myself with the following notions: the Postal Service, in its infinite wisdom, has assigned Westboro a ZIP code beginning with 666, and whatever the lackeys of Fred Phelps could do, they couldn’t possibly do any more damage than the minions of Kevin McHale, who, after forcing a Game 5, now have forced a Game 6 by thrashing the Thunder in front of the home crowd. It got so bad in the fourth quarter, in fact, that Foreman Scotty (thank you, Berry Tramel) actually was desperate enough to call for the repeated fouling of Omer Asik, hoping that the tall Turk would toss up some bricks. Asik obliged with a 13-18 performance, several percentage points above his usual. Rockets 107, Thunder 100, and I’m surprised it was that close. (In fact, OKC was down 10, but Derek Fisher synchronized a trey with the horn.)
This happened, I believe, by the confluence of two events: Kevin Martin had a lousy night, and James Harden didn’t. In fact, Harden had about as unlousy a night as I’ve seen this year, hitting his first seven treys for 31 points. And K-Mart rates a Telltale Statistic: he shot a genuinely terrible 1-10 and still wound up +2 for the night. Speaking of guys named Kevin, Durant had 36 points through three quarters, and didn’t score in the fourth, though he did pick up a technical.
So what to do? Reggie Jackson’s baptism by fire doesn’t seem to have burned him out, and Serge Ibaka does seem to be stepping up his offensive game. But OKC’s perimeter defense was apparently guarding Deep Deuce; the Rockets made 14 of 35 treys. (The Thunder went an embarrassing 8-33.) All five Houston starters landed in double figures, and so did second point guard Aaron Brooks.
We are advised that nobody ever comes back from a 3-0 playoff deficit. Then again, nobody could run a mile in four minutes either.