Resting Durant: A. Scotty Brooks played Durant all but 44 seconds of Game 3. He gave Durant much more rest Monday night. Durant played 42 minutes. He sat out the first 2:28 of the fourth quarter, and the Thunder played the Rockets even, 5-5, during that rest. Durant sat out 4:32 overlapping the first and second quarters, and the Thunder outscored Houston 11-10 during that time. Brooks also limited Durant's minutes as the point guard, which can be a physically demanding position.
Defensive rotations: B. Brooks' first substitute was Liggins, who played the next 10:42 and supplied energetic defense on mostly Chandler Parsons. Liggins had four rebounds and a steal (not to mention swishing a 3-pointer from the corner). But Brooks might have waited too long to insert Liggins in the second half. Liggins didn't enter the third quarter until 58.8 seconds remained.