Most of the people on the road — Reno Avenue directly in front of the arena — were police officers. There were an estimated 140 officers on duty in the area before, during and after the game, many more than were there when 6,000-plus gathered for the win over the Lakers.
Milligan and Knight said if Oklahoma and Oklahoma State and the police departments in Norman and Stillwater could provide proper security for college football tailgating crowds, Oklahoma City could make Thunder Alley safe.
Inside, though, things were as close to flawless as possible for the Thunder.
They forced 21 San Antonio turnovers, turned those into 20 points and got big production on both ends (19 points, 6 steals) from Thabo Sefolosha, as he moved over to guard Tony Parker.
“Defensively that was as well as you can play against the best team in basketball and everybody did it throughout every possession,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.
Durant led the Thunder with 22 points, and Westbrook added 10 points and 9 assists.
Through three quarters, Oklahoma City had outscored San Antonio 14-1 on the fast break in building an 18-point lead.
“We knew what we had to do,” Durant said. “We're not going to lay down and roll over just because we were down 0-2. We were just going to keep fighting.”
The Thunder hosts Game 4 on Saturday night.