May 22, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
The Oklahoma City Thunder were frustrated.
The San Antonio offense could focus so much on Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook (they don’t fear anyone else) that it turned the attacking Thunder stars into chuckers, into guys taking contested jumpers rather than attacking the rim (the Thunder shot three free throws in the final three quarters, a sign of that passivity). Durant finished the game with 15 points on 16 shots, Westbrook 15 points on 24 shots.
Westbrook and Durant also had the little exchange you can see above as they grew frustrated with each other. After the game Westbrook played it down.
“I was just getting on Kevin about some stuff and he got on me right back,” Westbrook said in his post-game interview, broadcast on NBA TV. “That’s what teammates do. That’s what leaders do. We get on each other, we come back and we talk about it and then we come out like nothing ever happened.”
“We got frustrated with one another because we gave up the three threes,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of the incident in his post-game press conference, downplaying the incident. “Those are the type of frustrations that I like in a basketball team. It’s on the defensive end. We gave up some threes, and we wanted to make sure that did not happen going forward. It happens with every team.”
Durant admitted he blew some defensive assignments at the end of the second quarter, leading to the exchange above.
But mostly this was just frustration boiling over. The Thunder do this, if you can frustrate their offense then they lose focus on the defensive end (or, sometimes the reverse).
They should be frustrated this series, the Spurs have been better than them in pretty much every aspect of the game. The question going into Game 3 in Oklahoma City Sunday is what they can do about it.
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