One Tree Hill
The Games That Play Us

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We're in the dressing room as Dan barks at the team. He's yelling so loudly that I'm afraid he might burst a blood vessel in his head: "Already making plans for after the game, boys? Because this is a joke! We're up by five points! We should be up by fifty points!" He walks down in between the benches where the boys are sitting. "While you've got your heads up your asses, why don't you take a whiff of how you've been playing." He points at Tim and yells at him about his turnovers. He points at Nathan and yells at him to focus. Then he stomps over to the table where the doc's looking at Luke's arm. The doctor says, "Coach, I think we should get him x-rayed. He's done for the night." Nathan looks up at his father, and listens to the conversation. Dan says, "Whoa, whoa, are you sure?" The doc says, "I can't be sure without the x-ray, but if he were my kid, I wouldn't risk it, and considering the rehab --" There's irony in the doc's sentence, but Dan pretty much ignores him and storms over to Luke, asking him how he's doing. The Chad says quietly, "It feels a little weird. What'd the doc say?" He doesn't look at Dan. His father replies, "He said you'd be fine, but if you want to sit out, I can't make you play. But your teammates are counting on you." And there, my chickens, that would have been Luke's entire life growing up with Dan in an eggshell. Luke grits his teeth, never looks at his father, and says, "I'll be fine." Dan half-smiles, simply because that's the answer he's looking for -- the manipulative jerk. He says to the doctor, "The kid says that he wants to play, but I'll tell you what, as soon as the game's over, we'll get him an x-ray, okay." Both Dan and the doctor leave as Luke rolls his arm around in its socket, feeling out the extent of his injury. Nathan comes up to him and asks, "Good, man?" Luke nods. Nathan smiles, "Good. 'Cause all this means nothing if you can't knock down that shot."

Nathan and Luke, walking to visit Whitey. They're talking about Dan's basketball career. Nathan asks, "Do you know about my dad's state championship game?" The Chad's hands are shoved into his pockets: "Um, yeah, Whitey benched Dan." Nathan says, "Not exactly, that's Whitey's story. See, they were leading and Whitey wanted to go into a stall. My dad didn't want to, so at the end of the game, with everything on the line, he sat down. He refused to go back in the game." Now there's a team player for you -- and this man thinks he's a good coach? Luke says incredulously, "Really?" Nathan says, "See, the way my dad sees it is that he lost the game but won the argument." Luke shakes his head: "I couldn't do that to my teammates." Nathan echoes his sentiment: "Yeah, me either." Pause. He jokes, "Although if we lose this game, I'm going back to hating you." Luke laughs, but in a strange, sort of uncomfortable way. Whitey yells from his porch, "Well! It's the Scott boys --" They stroll up his driveway carrying a basketball. Woda jokes, "Together. My eyes must really be screwed up." Nathan says, "Hey Coach. We wanted to catch you before you went to the hospital." Whitey says, "Glad you did. How's practice going with Danny?" Nathan cracks, "It's the same as with you, it sucks." Whitey laughs. Nate hands him the ball and tells him that all the players signed it, as sort of a get well card. Whitey takes it and swirls it around, looking at all the signatures. He says, "I've been around this game my whole life, and there's never been a day that I've been as gifted as either one of you. You remember that and don't let Danny take that from you." He takes a deep breath: "You boys play with your whole hearts; you take your shots -- no regrets." Woda holds out his fist and first Nathan butts it, and then Luke. No regrets.

The second half of the game heats up as the Raven really start gaining momentum. Luke passes to Nathan, and he scores. The crowd is on its feet as both Luke and Nathan are working the court. The only problem? Masonboro's leading by five. The clock runs down. Mouth's mouth keeps chattering. And we see Haley for a minute; she whispers, "Oh man, I'm scared!"

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One Tree Hill

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