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Three days without a game could have made the Oklahoma City Thunder's last loss feel larger than it might otherwise appear in the rearview mirror of the Western Conference finals.The Thunder have watched and dissected what went wrong in Game 2, then watched...

Thunder vows to toughen up after being manhandled by Warriors in Game 2 of NBA Western finals

Three days without a game could have made the Oklahoma City Thunder's last loss feel larger than it might otherwise appear in the rearview mirror of the Western Conference finals.The Thunder have watched and dissected what went wrong in Game 2, then watched...

Thunder vows to toughen up after being manhandled by Warriors in Game 2 of NBA Western finals

Three days without a game could have made the Oklahoma City Thunder's last loss feel larger than it might otherwise appear in the rearview mirror of the Western Conference finals.

The Thunder have watched and dissected what went wrong in Game 2, then watched and dissected it some more.

The big takeaways were that they can't continually throw away the ball like a chewing gum wrapper and they need to get back to being the physical brutes who dominate in the rebounding department.

The Golden State Warriors made the outsized Thunder trio of Steven Adams, Serge Ibaka and Enes Kanter feel oddly minimized with their rugged play. Stephen Curry leaped into the stands to chase a loose ball, Draymond Green struck Adams in the groin area, and seemingly every ball up for grabs went to the Warriors.

"The reality is they were playing tougher than us," Ibaka said Saturday as the Thunder prepared for Game 3 of the deadlocked series, which resumes here Sunday evening at Chesapeake Energy Arena. "They were tougher, they were more aggressive than us. That's something you can't always watch on film and can't always change. It's mental. I think it's something we have to do next game."

Ibaka acknowledged that getting pushed around wasn't pleasant for someone used to being on the inflicting end.

"It makes us feel like we're soft, we're weak, you know what I'm saying?" Ibaka said.

Thunder guard Russell Westbrook didn't share in the self-pity party. While acknowledging the Thunder didn't play hard enough, Westbrook said he felt no one ever outhustles him.

"No, not on a night-by-night basis," Westbrook said.

Collectively, however, the Warriors' dominance in Game 2 was indisputable. They outrebounded the Thunder, 45-36, a fairly decisive edge when you consider that Oklahoma City had won that category by 30 during one regular-season game between these teams.

"Just got to play harder," Westbrook said. "You know, once we play harder, everything else will go into place. I think that's the most important thing."

Playing smarter would also help. Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant had eight turnovers in Game 2, several coming on forced passes in tight quarters. Thunder Coach Billy Donovan said his team needed to create better passing lanes, though that might be difficult the way the Warriors have essentially ignored Andre Roberson, jamming the interior by allocating their defensive resources to Oklahoma City's other four players.

Draymond Green hasn't picked up a technical foul in the first two games of the Western Conference finals, fulfilling his pledge to yammer less around the officials.

The Oklahoma City Thunder were offered no such volume control.

Green continues to chatter whenever plays go his way, which they often...

Draymond Green hasn't picked up a technical foul in the first two games of the Western Conference finals, fulfilling his pledge to yammer less around the officials.

The Oklahoma City Thunder were offered no such volume control.

Green continues to chatter whenever plays go his way, which they often...

It's largely worked. Durant has made 21 of 48 shots (43.8%) in the first two games, Westbrook 12 of 35 (34.3%).

"If we can keep their percentage where it is, that would be fantastic," Warriors Coach Steve Kerr said. "I doubt we'll do that given that they're home now and they'll have the crowd behind them and probably come out with a lot of force."

Oklahoma City is 3-0 after a loss in the playoffs, but the Thunder must win the next two games on their home court to avoid the prospect of needing another victory at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors have gone 46-3 this season, including the playoffs.

Curry returned for the first time Saturday to the spot of his 37-foot jumper that buried the Thunder in overtime when the teams met here in February. He said he didn't try to commemorate it during practice Saturday.

"Take a Sharpie and write my name or something? No." Curry said. "I walked over to the spot and didn't even shoot it again."

The Warriors were so loose that Green said they even joked about a halftime incident during that February game against the Thunder in which Green and Kerr had to be held back from each other after Kerr criticized Green following a subpar first half.

"I'm not going to be the one to joke about it," Green said. "But everybody else did."

A little levity was allowed after the Warriors had shifted the weight of the series, if not the basketball world, back onto the Thunder.

Follow Ben Bolch on Twitter: @latbbolch

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

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