Perhaps he should have stayed on Chalmers, given how good he was in the second half.
For the final 16-plus minutes, the Thunder were reduced to playing 2-on-5 basketball. Serge Ibaka made a jumper with 4:46 left in the third quarter, cutting Miami’s lead to 68-66.
“We just have to stay together,” center Kendrick Perkins said. “It’s not over.”
Sure, the stars were superb, again, just not superb enough to take down Miami. After that Ibaka jumper, no other Thunder player besides the team’s two superstars scored a point.
“It’s not disappointing. It’s just, it happens that way,” Brooks said. “Russell had a great game. We were going. We were going with him. He was making terrific plays at the basket. He was attacking, he was getting into the teeth of their defense and made basketball plays.”
James Harden struggled yet again, shooting 2 for 10 for the second straight game, though he did finish with 10 rebounds. Nick Collison scored six points, but the other three Oklahoma City starters _ Ibaka, Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha _ combined for a mere 13 on 6-for-16 shooting.
“We’re going to stay aggressive, keep trying to find guys,” Westbrook said. “Guys are going to stay confident.”
And if the Thunder don’t figure out a way to do something no NBA team has ever done throughout the rest of this series, James will finally get that ring he’s spent nine seasons chasing.
“We’re going to keep fighting,” Durant said. “Frustrating to lose like that. But we’re going to keep fighting, man. That’s how we’ve been since I got here.”
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