Game Recap

8 Assists for Russell Westbrook on the night, in addition to 7 rebounds and 27 points

10 Rebounds for Serge Ibaka on the night, including five on the offensive end

10-for-13 Shooting numbers from both the field and the free throw line for James Harden, en route to a Playoff career-high 31 points

16 Offensive rebounds on the night, including 13 by the starters, which led to 13 second chance points

26-10 Fast break points advantage for the Thunder on the night, where it shot 7-for-10

35-28  Scoring advantage for the Thunder in the fourth quarter, where it cut the lead to six

46-42 Points in the paint advantage for the Thunder tonight

47.1 Shooting percentage from three point land for the Thunder, including 3-for-4 shooting from Kevin Durant, who finished with 31 points

        
GAME IN REVIEW


RECAP:
The grittiness of the Thunder was evident tonight, as the San Antonio Spurs built a big lead in the third quarter and it looked as though Game 2 was in the books early. Head Coach Scott Brooks' club battled back however, cutting the lead to six points and giving itself a chance to grab the game away in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, the valiant comeback attempt fell just short as the Spurs hit tough shot after tough shot en route to a 120-111 Thunder loss.

"I liked our guys mental toughness," Brooks said. "We are young, but that's not an excuse. We played hard. I knew we were going to keep playing for 48 minutes. We got down 22 points. It's not good, but we still came back and fought."

Regardless of the way the Thunder's persistence allowed it to make it a close contest in the fourth quarter, the team's goal is always to come away with a win. Guard Russell Westbrook partly led the charge in the fourth quarter, where the Thunder out-scored the Spurs by seven and cut the lead to six once and seven twice, the second of which came with 1:52 remaining and was answered by a fall-away three-pointer by Manu Ginobili at the end of the shot clock. Westbrook, whose drive and passion for winning is worn vibrantly on his sleeve, said his team is all about what the scoreboard says at the end of the game.

"We're not here to try to make it a close game or try to make it a good fight," Westbrook said. "We're trying to win. We lost tonight. They did a good job of taking care of home court and now we get a chance to go back home."

Both Westbrook and Kevin Durant stated that there are no moral victories in Playoff basketball, particularly in the Western Conference Finals, but the Thunder has continued to find things that have worked in patches during the first two games of the series. Whether it was the Thunder's length on the defensive end in Game 1 or the way Westbrook and James Harden continually attacked the basket in the fourth quarter tonight, Brooks' squad has found a few things to build on, particularly attacking the basket.

"That is one of the things that we're good at," Brooks said. "We have to get to the free throw line. We attack and we get to the free throw line. James did a good job of getting to the free throw line… We led the league in free throw attempts, and that's for a reason. We spread the floor and we attack the basket and we did a good job."

Next up for the Thunder is a Game 3 back in Oklahoma City at the raucous Chesapeake Energy Arena, where the squad will have to put its best game on the floor and protect its home gym. Being down 0-2 in the series is certainly not the best place to be, but as Brooks noted, the Thunder went down 0-2 to the Los Angeles Lakers two years ago, before coming home and winning Games 3 and 4 in Oklahoma City. That history and Playoff experience could pay dividends come Thursday.

"We just have to go home and regroup and watch film, see how we can get better," Durant said. "We're not going to give up at all. We're going to keep fighting and we're confident. We just have to keep pushing."

While hoping to get the series back to 2-2 after Thursday and Saturday night's games in Oklahoma City is the main goal for the Thunder, it will solely focus on what it can control now, namely Game 3. Brooks' squad, with veteran leadership from players like Kendrick Perkins and Derek Fisher, knows it's all about playing the best basketball possible on each and every possession.

"We'll take it one game at a time," Perkins said. "Next game is Game 3 and we have to make sure we go out and get it."

"They did a good job of holding serve," Brooks said. "It's our job to go home and worry about Game 3. That's all we're focused on is one game and taking care of Game 3."

Turning Point:
The Spurs had already built a 12-point lead at 70-58 with 7:06 remaining in the third quarter, but extended that lead with a 10-0 run that boosted the lead to a game-high 22 points at 80-58 with 4:47 remaining in the quarter. That run was led by a 20-foot jumper by Tony Parker, a three pointer by Kawhi Leonard, a three-pointer from Parker and then a goaltending violation on a Boris Diaw layup. During that stretch the Thunder missed four straight shots plus two free throws.

Later, once the Thunder had cut the lead to six at 99-93 with 5:40 remaining, the Spurs responded with two free throws and a layup, while the Thunder missed three straight shots. The Spurs lead grew to 10 and the Thunder never got closer than seven the rest of the way.

Plays the box score won’t show, first half
Nice help side rotation on defense by Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka to force a jump ball, then Durant boxes out and draws a foul… Kendrick Perkins plays tough straight up defense to block a Tim Duncan shot, then Durant uses his length to make a steal… Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha hustle to track down an offensive board then Russell Westbrook pulls up and hits a jumper with the foul… Slicing drive-and-dish from Westbrook to Ibaka for a layup, then good defense and box outs from Perkins and Durant… Two good screens set up a Westbrook to Durant three pointer, then Ibaka’s length forces a Spurs turnover… Westbrook snags a loose ball and finds a leaking Durant for a jam, then Ibaka fights for an offensive board… Incredible driving layup by Durant through traffic… Ibaka hustles back to make a block right into James Harden’s hands, who takes the ball down court for a layup… Great off-the ball screen by Perkins to free up Durant for a baseline jumper, then Durant blocks a shot to force a shot clock violation… Nice hustle from Nick Collison to fight for a loose defensive rebound, then beautiful ball movement by the Thunder to free up Durant for a three pointer from Harden… Nice drop off pass from Durant leads to a Harden offensive rebound and two foul shots… Solid screens from Ibaka to free up Harden for a mid-range jumper, then Durant uses his quick hands to knock the ball away… Harden uses a Collison screen to set up Derek Fisher for a corner three pointer, then the ball squirts out and Fisher and Collison hustle to get a loose ball and draw a foul… Collison tips a loose rebound to himself on the offensive glass which leads to a Harden drive to the cup, then Nazr Mohammed and Harden play a pick and roll nicely… Daequan Cook and Collison hustle to get a loose ball which leads to a Harden midrange jumper… Nice play out of the timeout to get a rolling Durant who hits Westbrook for a three pointer, then Ibaka boxes out to grab a missed free throw… Ibaka smartly tips an offensive rebound back out to Durant, then Fisher drives and dishes to Ibaka for a dunk… Ibaka sets a screen up top to free up Harden for a jumper, then Harden and Ibaka get back in transition defense to tie up Duncan… Ibaka wins the jump ball, then Westbrook drives and dishes to Ibaka to draw a foul… Perkins battles on the offensive glass, then Durant screens for Westbrook to free him up for a three pointer… Perkins boxes out then blocks a shot, leading to a Westbrook-to-Harden transition opportunity… Good scrambling on the defensive end forces a Spurs turnover, then Durant posts up deep for an easy bucket.

Plays the box score won’t show, second half…
Aggressive defense leads to a Westbrook steal, then Sefolosha flies in for a layup at the rim… Durant smartly makes a cross-court pass to Westbrook, who knocks down a jumper, then Durant draws a foul and knocks down two shots before Westbrook slinks to the rim… Perkins continues to fight in the paint to grab his own rebounds and draw a foul, then Ibaka swats a shot that leads to a Westbrook to Durant three pointer… Westbrook dishes again to a cutting Perkins for a banking leaner, then Perkins boxes out on the defensive end… Perkins sets a strong screen to free up Durant for a jumper, then Durant uses his length to draw a foul and get to the free throw line… Quick hands from Fisher leads to a Harden run-out bucket… Perkins’ quick hands lead to a steal by Durant and a transition layup, then Fisher boxes out on the defensive end… Collison sets a nice screen for Westbrook in the lane for a jumper, then good closeout defense by the Thunder to force a miss at the end of the quarter… Nice box out from Ibaka to draw a foul, then Westbrook grabs a board and races to the other end for a layup… Harden makes a steal then runs the floor to draw a foul, then Harden drives into the lane and hits a leaner in traffic… Great hustle from Ibaka to pick up a loose ball to get it to Harden for a layup, and one… Good work by the Thunder to use its length to draw a foul then Durant pitches ahead to Harden to draw a foul… Nice box out by Durant to get position and draw a foul, then a big box out from Ibaka… Straight up defense from Ibaka leads to a Thunder run out, resulting in a Harden offensive board… Good defensive board from Harden then Durant throws a cross-court pass to Westbrook to draw a foul… Big hustle on the boards by Westbrook and Harden, then Durant hits Westbrook for a big three pointer… Nice double screen up top to free up Harden for a bucket, then Fisher draws a foul while trying to set a screen… Harden uses a pick-and-pop to find Fisher for three, then Ibaka makes a steal that leads to a Westbrook-to-Durant fast break… Westbrook attacks again and finds the cup, then a big defensive board by Ibaka… The Thunder continues to fight and get to the lane as Harden scores then Ibaka gets set up for a dunk.

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