It was a devastating 12 minutes of basketball for the Thunder. But it was a fatal 32 seconds to close it out.
In the final minute, already trailing by three, Boris Diaw turned a Thunder turnover into a big three on the other end. Then moments later, after a Reggie Jackson missed layup, the Spurs dwindled the game clock down and Danny Green knocked in another momentum three, plus a Kevin Durant foul, for a four-point play.
The Spurs’ lead had ballooned to 10. San Antonio ended the quarter with a 7-0 run in the final half-minute, securing a lopsided 37-20 advantage for the period.
“Defensively, they had us scrambling around,” Brooks said. “They made some big plays at the end (of the third).”
Backs against the wall, desperate to stave off elimination, the Thunder put up a valiant fourth-quarter effort. Playing with a frantic and explosive style, OKC found a way to force an overtime in which it’d eventually be eliminated.
But this one was lost in a game-changing third quarter that looked so promising at the start. Despite missing Parker, eight Spurs players made at least one shot in the quarter. The Thunder only had five players score in the entire game.
Story of the game. Story of the series.