The Okahoma City Thunder are a young team, and many fans and observers believe they still need to prove their mettle in close, tense playoff games. Saturday night's Game 4 against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center was one of those games, with the Lakers jumping out to a quick double-digit lead and holding a nine-point advantage heading into the final quarter. By all possible measures, OKC proved itself, taking the game 103-100 and out-executing the home Lakers down the stretch.
The finishing blow was Kevin Durant's 3-pointer over Metta World Peace with 13 seconds remaining. Durant's been no stranger to game-winners in these playoffs — this was his third, including this memorable one against Dallas on the postseason's first night — but this one felt a little more special. The context mattered: The Thunder were in danger of seeing the series tied at 2-2, and the shot was the perfect cap to their comeback. More than anything, though, it was impressive just how calm Durant looked throughout the possession. He knew what he wanted to do, got the chance, and executed perfectly. At no point did he seem to lose control of the moment.
It was the play of a veteran superstar, not a young kid still finding his way to the top of the league. The Thunder still have much to prove as they try to win a championship, but there's now no question that they're a mature bunch.
(Original YouTube video via EOB)