April 30, 2013
Kevin Durant consoled Serge Ibaka after he missed a layup at the buzzer that would have sent Monday night's game against the Houston Rockets into overtime.
Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder lost their first game of the best-of-seven series against the Rockets 105-103. But Durant was quick to remind Ibaka and his teammates not to fret, because they're heading back home still in control of the series.
"We'll be all right," he said. "We're up 3-1 with a good opportunity to close it out at home. We couldn't ask for a better situation, so hopefully we'll get the job done."
Chandler Parsons scored 27 points and Patrick Beverley added 16 points with point guard Jeremy Lin out with a bruised chest muscle. Houston avoided a four-game sweep in the best-of-seven series.
The Rockets led in the fourth quarter of each of the last two games only to end up losing. And it almost happened again Monday.
Durant scored five quick points to cut the Rockets' lead to two. James Harden missed two shots for Houston after that and the Thunder had a last chance.
Reggie Jackson missed a jump shot and Ibaka grabbed the rebound, but missed the layup at the buzzer.
A stunned Ibaka fell to the court after the miss and covered his face with his hands.
"In the last 12 seconds, they did a great job, and they were aggressive," Ibaka said. "They made us take some tough shots. I don't even want to talk about the play. Right now, we're just focused on the next game."
Durant scored 38 points in Oklahoma City's second game without injured All-Star guard Russell Westbrook.
"The game did not come down to the last play or so," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "There were little things along the way that we could have done a lot better."
Durant hit the go-ahead 3-pointer in the Thunder's Game 3 win. He wanted to get another one off on Monday, but Francisco Garcia forced him to give up the ball.
"I was. I was going to try to win it," Durant said. "But he played good defense."
The victory kept Houston from being swept in the playoffs for the first time since 1996. Game 5 is Wednesday in Oklahoma City