Game 1 is one game.
As self-explanatory as that phrase is, some already have turned the page on the Thunder's series against Houston.
With OKC's convincing 120-91 victory Sunday night in Game 1 at Chesapeake Energy Arena, some consider this Western Conference opening-round series to be a foregone conclusion.
Not the Thunder players, however.
“It's not hard for us to stay focused,” veteran power forward Nick Collison said of preparing for Game 2 at 6 p.m. Wednesday at The Peake. “We know what these games mean, how important they are and we're not buying into any storylines or anything outside this building.”
There are multiple reasons why Game 1 is one game, and OKC has provided several examples:
Three seasons ago, when OKC was the No. 8 seed playing the No. 1-seeded Los Angeles Lakers, the Thunder won 110-89 in Game 4 to tie the series at 2. The next time the teams met at the Ford Center, the Lakers ended the series with a 95-94 victory on a Pau Gasol tip-in with 0.5 seconds left.
Two seasons ago, OKC outlasted Memphis 4-3 in a thrilling Western Conference semifinals series that could have gone either way, yet every game was decided by at least eight points. The Thunder won Game 5 by 27, then lost by 12, then won (and clinched) by 15.
Last season, OKC trailed 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs, a team that had won 20 straight. The Thunder flipped the series and won four straight to advance to the NBA Finals.
OKC's regular-season series this year against Houston offered similar evidence.
The Thunder won the first two games by an average of 26 points and led the series finale by 14 points with seven minutes left, only to lose 122-119 at Toyota Center.
Former Rockets guard Kevin Martin, who was traded to OKC last October just five days before its season opener, on Tuesday cited an example that had transpired just 15 hours earlier.
The Chicago Bulls became the first road team to win in this year's NBA Playoffs by beating the host Brooklyn Nets 90-82 on Monday night. The Bulls had lost Game 1 by 17 points two days earlier.
“You never want to turn the page,” Martin said. “You just focus on the next game and that's what we're here to do.”