HOUSTON -- Kevin Durant, whose titanic offense has kept the Warriors afloat for much of this postseason, was no mood for praise late Wednesday night despite scoring 38 points.
And his aversion to compliments was not only because the Warriors had taken a 127-105 loss to Houston in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.
No, Durant took a very long finger and turned it upon himself.
“I started the game off with a turnover,” he said.
“I got that and a foul, so I got Trevor Ariza going and their crowd going. I take full responsibility for the start of the game. After that, it was just contagious. My teammates kind of followed my lead. I can't start the game off like that.”
Indeed, the Warriors invited the Rockets to take an early lead, get comfortable with it in the second half and maintain until they evened the series at 1-1. Beginning with Durant losing the ball 52 seconds after tipoff, the Warriors committed five turnovers in the first five minutes, seven in the first quarter.
So Durant’s assessment is on target, to a point.
The other four quick turnovers were spread out among three teammates, one for Andre Iguodala, one for Stephen Curry and two for Draymond Green. The Warriors got to seven when Iguodala committed another later in the quarter, which was followed by one by Kevon Looney.
It was, to be sure, a festival of turnovers that separated the teams, and Durant’s first-quarter miscue wasn’t exactly the tipping point.
“A couple of them we just kind of threw the ball to them, and you can't do that. Now, all of a sudden, Ariza gets a layup, (PJ) Tucker gets an easy shot and now they're feeling good and it changes the whole game.”
Turnovers are a problem that periodically plagues the Warriors. The potential for them is always nearby, lurking in the wings, waiting the sabotage their best intentions. They committed 15, leading to 15 Houston points.
More acutely, the Warriors committed 11 in the first half, gifting the Rockets 13 points.
“We've got to correct it, because this is an every possession game,” Durant said. “We've got to be locked in every possession against these guys.”
|Game 1||Warriors 119, Rockets 106|
|Game 2||Rockets 127, Warriors 105|
|Game 3||Oakland -- Sunday, May 20th at 5pm|
|Game 4||Oakland -- Tuesday, May 22nd at 6pm|
|Game 5||Houston -- Thursday, May 24th at 6pm|
|Game 6||Oakland -- Saturday, May 26th at 6pm|
|Game 7||Houston -- Monday, May 28th at 6pm|