By the end of the quarter, over those final nine minutes, Durant and Westbrook combined to use 13 of 19 Thunder possessions. Nine were used by Westbrook.
With 2 1/2 minutes remaining, the Thunder led by five. But Spurs guards Danny Green and Manu Ginobili made three straight 3-pointers to cap a 25-8 run and give San Antonio a 58-44 halftime lead.
Durant took responsibility for that.
“I messed the game up at the end of the second quarter,” he said. “I got hit on the screen and Danny Green got open for a 3. I over-helped, and he got another 3. And then Ginobili hit a 3. All those plays was on me. It was my fault, and I take full responsibility for it. Wish they wouldn’t have happened. I can’t get them back now. But I’ll take that one.”
The rest, Durant defiantly dismissed.
But the evidence spoke for itself.
In the first seven minutes of the third, Durant and Westbrook were back at it, taking turns chucking shots as they attempted slice into the Spurs’ lead as if each shot was worth six points.
Westbrook and Durant used six of the Thunder’s first eight possessions of the period and 14 of 19 in that game-clinching eight-minute stretch. They used five straight during one stretch and eight straight during another. In the latter stretch, they hoisted four straight 3-pointers, each letting two fly.
When Spurs forward Boris Diaw drilled a 3-pointer with 4:56 remaining in the third, the Thunder trailed, 79-52.
“We didn’t stop trusting,” Durant said.
Asked why they stopped moving the ball Durant, displaying some of the best defense of the night, responded, “We didn’t.”
So how do you explain it?
A 17-minute stretch in which a one-point lead turned into a 27-point deficit? The Spurs storming to a 46-16 run while Durant and Westbrook used 27 of 38 possessions despite going 8-for-23 with four turnovers and only one assist?
“Because we’re the focal point of the offense,” Durant said.
And on Wednesday night, they unnecessarily grew desperate and stopped doing what they said they needed to do most in Game 2.