Thunder-Rockets: Oklahoma City Lets Lead Slip Away
Some losses are understandable. Some losses just drive you insane.
This loss against the Houston Rockets is one where you go insane.
The Oklahoma City Thunder had every opportunity possible to come out of the Ford Center with a victory.
The Thunder came out of the gates on fire offensively and was containing a very quick Rockets team.
The beginning of the game looked very similar to how they played against Orlando a couple weeks ago that resulted in the Thunder embarrassing Dwight Howard and the Magic. However, this time they faced a tough physical Rockets team that dominated on the glass.
When was the last time you saw a team get 23 offensive rebounds? Go ahead, I'll wait. Although, if you watched the game, you might have noticed the Rockets got plenty of lucky bounces off the rim that went straight back to a Houston player.
After three quarters of play, the Thunder led by two while having a loud Ford Center and a winnable defensive outing.
But then the Rockets got hot. It was all thanks to Aaron Brooks deciding to show up for the second half. His ridiculous quickness off the designed picks were too much for Westbrook to keep up with and eventually cost the Thunder late in the game.
Even with Luis Scola out with a bad cut to his eyelid, the Rockets didn't seem to skip a beat.
Plus, Oklahoma City minus James Harden stayed cold as ice from beyond the arch. The team went 1-15 Sunday evening. Kevin Durant continued his three point drought. I can't remember the last time KD got hot from trey-ball land.
Defensively, Thabo Sefolosha didn't have his best outing. He made a couple of mental mistakes leaving Trevor Ariza wide open for crucial three point shots. Serge Ibaka also had a decent night getting a few key blocks and rebounds, but whiffed on a few block attempts and left his man with an easy dunk.
Ibaka will be a defensive monster late in the season—I guarantee it.
If Ibaka can learn to not leave his feet so often and focus on playing fundamental defense, he will be a nightmare for teams down the stretch.
Even so, Thunder fans left with a bitter taste in their mouths thinking about what could have been. Hopefully the injured Thunder squad will learn from this loss and will come out better because of it.
Bring on the 76ers.
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