Q&A: Kevin Durant
For the second consecutive game, Kevin Durant found himself in foul trouble. In Game 3, he had to sit during a critical stretch late in the third quarter when the Thunder went from being up 10 to being down heading into the fourth.
You guys lost the battle in the paint again, but then you managed to stay in the game. This was anybody's game. What do you feel you can improve? What can you change in Game 4?
I think our defense was good. They got a few offensive rebounds early on we wish we could have back. We put ourselves in position to win. That's what it's about. Tough loss. This is not over. It's not over. We've got to be ready for next game.
Second game in a row that you got in foul trouble. What do you think you can do different moving forward as far as guarding LeBron (James) or any other Heat player?
Not foul. I mean, I don't know. I'm just trying to play aggressive on both ends, and unfortunately I'm getting some fouls called on me, but I've got to play through it. Two games in a row, man, so I've just got to play smarter next game, and hopefully I don't get no fouls called.
You've talked about needing to be tougher coming in. Do you think that Kendrick Perkins gave you guys that defensive toughness throughout the game?
Yeah, he did. He was tough all night, got 12 rebounds, played well for us. We just need that from him for the rest of the series. Also Serge (Ibaka) and Nick (Collison), and guys are playing hard. Guys are playing hard, so we've just got to continue to keep playing together and believing. We'll be all right.
When you got your fourth (foul), what was going through your mind? What did you think about coming out at that time?
That's coach's call. I had four, I think, I want to say four or five minutes to go in the third, and we had a nice little rhythm going. I had a nice rhythm going on the offensive end and for it to just stop like that by me going out of the game because of fouls is kind of tough.
How frustrating was it watching that run with you and Russell Westbrook out shortly after that for the rest of the third?
It was frustrating. Of course we had a good lead and they came back and made some shots. We fouled shooters on the 3-point line twice. It's a tough break for us. You know, I hate sitting on the bench, especially with fouls. Just got to do a better job next game of staying out of foul trouble.
Talk about your team's outstanding free-throw shooting during the year, but you missed nine tonight, seven in each of the first two games. What's going on at the line?
We're missing. We've just got to be focused and disciplined and knock them down. Last game, we missed seven and lost by four; (tonight) missed nine, lost by six. Just got to be disciplined.
Now that you've been in the league a few years and you've been through these playoff wars, do you sense any difference in the officiating from the regular season and the playoffs?
I try not to concern myself with the officiating. They're going to make their calls and there's nothing we can do about it. We can't change it. Just got to play through it. There's going to be some calls they may miss. They're human. There's going to be some calls that they get right. Just got to play through it.
How would you describe your team's end-game execution?
Today, we could have been better of course. Russell got a wide-open 3 on the left corner, I mean the left wing. Looked good. But we missed some shots. But we put ourselves in a position to win.