Hounded by James from the start, Durant struggled to get a clean look at the basket, let alone an open shot. Even when Durant tried to be aggressive, putting the ball on the floor and forcing his way to the rim, the Heat defense had clogged the paint and made him hoist contested shots. That's if he wasn't stripped on the way to the basket.
“They did a really good job in pick-and-rolls putting two guys on the ball,” Durant said. “When I would set a pick and flash to the corner, I would see two guys. They were doing a lot of doubling. That's what they're really great at. They scrambled out. I just got to do a better job of reading the defense and making the right passes and trusting in my teammates more. I could have had more assists tonight.”
Durant added eight rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots. But he also had five of the Thunder's 16 turnovers.
With 1:46 remaining in the first quarter, a frustrated Durant also was whistled for his 11th technical foul — and second in as many games — for slamming his hand to the floor after hitting the deck following a drive. Durant later fouled out with 28.4 seconds remaining, the first time he's been disqualified from a game since Dec. 8, 2010, at Minnesota and just the third time he's registered six fouls in his career.
“You have to give LeBron credit,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “Obviously they were making him miss shots.”
Durant fell to 2-9 all time in the regular season against James.