Forty-seven seconds cost the Thunder a win in Game 2 and a shot at heading to Memphis this weekend with a 2-0 series lead in its Western Conference semifinal against the Grizzlies.
And, no, it wasn't the final 47 seconds.
It actually was a 47-second stretch late the second quarter.
That stretch served as the turning point in the Thunder's 99-93 loss on Tuesday night. Everything that went wrong from there only became a part of an avalanche that started as a snowball just before the end of the first half.
It began when Zach Randolph missed a jumper with 2:06 remaining in the second quarter. While Kendrick Perkins was complaining about a Marc Gasol screen that had popped him in the mouth just before the shot, Gasol reached over Perkins and tipped the rebound to himself.
As the Thunder's defense scrambled to reset, Gasol skipped a pass to a wide open Mike Conley on the right wing. Conley missed a 3-point try, but Randolph, who was sandwiched in between Perkins and Serge Ibaka underneath the basket, grabbed the ricochet with one hand. He then fired it right back out to Conley.
Without hesitation, Conley drove the lane but launched a contested shot from in front of the rim. On the right block, Ibaka was face-guarding Randolph and pushing him away from the rebound. Randolph, however, wrapped his left arm around Ibaka's back, tapped the ball to the ground and raced to recover it near the 3-point line.
Three shots. Three offensive rebounds.
Quincy Pondexter finally finished off the trip with a baseline jumper that pulled the Grizzlies within two with 1:40 remaining in the period.
His basket represented two of the 23 second-chance points Memphis managed in Game 2, a product of the Grizzlies grabbing 16 offensive rebounds.
It was a stark contrast from Game 1, when the Thunder yielded only eight offensive rebounds and, as a result, allowed just four second-chance points.
“We got to get back to making sure that we box them out,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks, “because they're going to keep pushing and keep coming to the rim and we have to make sure we hold our ground there.”
The difference from Game 1 to Game 2 was clear.
Memphis played with more energy and effort.
Sometimes it's just that simple, though it's easy to get wrapped up in analyzing the schemes, strategies and adjustments of playoff basketball.
A quick study of the offensive rebounds the Thunder allowed in Game 2 showed exactly why Brooks after the game called the mistakes correctable.
If you were to review and categorize each of the Grizzlies offensive rebounds, you would come to a shocking conclusion.
Nine of the 16 were hustle plays, sequences in which Grizzlies players simply grabbed their own misses, beat the Thunder to loose balls or took advantage of numbers in transition. Another six were the result of the Thunder not boxing out, that fundamental element burning OKC when players inexplicably refused to put a body on someone.
Only one of the Grizzlies' 16 offensive rebounds, an Ibaka blocked shot that landed right in the hands of Jerryd Bayless, could be categorized as a bad or unlucky break.
“We knew those balls were going to be coming long for those 3-point shooters who were shooting,” said Grizzlies guard Tony Allen. “All we had to do was pretty much box out … We were just trying to be the first to put the butts to the bottom and box out and dive for those loose balls when they were out there.”
Allen gobbled up a game-high five offensive rebounds, three less than the Thunder had. His play characterized what could be a concern for the Thunder going forward. Ten of the Grizzlies' 16 offensive rebounds were grabbed by wing players. There was a systemic reason for that.
OKC's big men are being taken out of the action. Ibaka is almost literally wresting with Randolph to keep him off the glass, and Perkins is being pulled 17 feet away from the basket to defend Gasol. That's leaving the job of rebounding up to the Thunder's wing players.
Kevin Durant has chipped in, pulling down 26 rebounds in these first two games. But the other perimeter players must make it a point from here out to do more. Kevin Martin did just that in Game 1, grabbing all seven of his rebounds on the defensive end. It helped the Thunder out-rebound the Grizzlies, 43-41.
But on Tuesday night, Martin, Reggie Jackson and Thabo Sefolosha combined for just nine rebounds. On too many possessions, the Thunder's perimeter players stood in place and watched shots, which put them in poor position of chasing down misses.
This is exactly how the most pivotal play of the game shook out.
With the Grizzlies nursing a tenuous four-point lead inside the final minute, the Thunder's defense shut down each of Memphis' go-to-options. OKC lived with a corner 3 from Allen, a player who had missed 20 of 22 playoff 3-pointers in his career.
But when Martin ran toward the rim, appearing unsure of whether to help Ibaka sandwich Randolph or focus on his own man, forward Tayshaun Prince, he ended up doing neither. Martin was in no man's land as the ball bounced into Prince's hands.
Instead of getting possession with a chance to close within two or one inside the final 30 seconds, the Thunder watched Conley split a pair of free throws and put Memphis ahead by five.