Durant went into the fourth quarter with 16 points on 18 shot attempts, unable to find a rhythm or his shooting touch through three quarters.
“I’ve got to do my work early,” Allen explained. “If that’s being physical with him, trying to push him through screens, just cause havoc the best way possible, it’s kind of to my favor. But the guy still hit 36 points. So he’s going to get his. The biggest thing is just not getting discouraged and just keep fighting throughout the game.”
Durant’s 36 points were a game-high. But he shot 12-for-28 from the field. Twelve of his attempts came from 3-point range, a number that indicates in part how far Allen pushed Durant out and how much Durant settled for jumpers after everything else had been disrupted.
For Allen, it was a masterful performance that was reminiscent of the success he had against Durant in the postseason three years ago.
“We have to do a better job of getting their hands off him,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “That’s one of the things that we talk about. We have to have better set-ups and better screens and some better looks”
With Durant neutralized, the Thunder’s offense ran into mud.
Oklahoma City shot just 39 percent and never led by more than two points.
“They play hard,” Durant said. “You got to give them credit…It’s typical defense. They’ve been playing it all season. We got to move the ball a little bit better…But we missed some shots tonight.”