Kevin Durant is clearly pissed with Oklahoma City Thunder’s recent defeat to West rivals Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.
The Clippers rallied from 22 points down– and from 17 points entering the fourth quarter– and delivered the comeback victory while Durant’s Thunder completely folded at crunchtime and turned in what could be the worst their worst fourth quarter performance of the season.
How bad were the Thunder in the fourth canto? Very bad on both ends— they gave up 35 points to the Clippers and they could only manage to produce 13 points.
As Durant said in interviews after the game, the Clippers executed and his Thunder just didn’t.
“They made plays, we didn’t. They were disciplined, we weren’t,” Durant said. But what he said after was more telling—and perhaps sending a message to the rest of his teammates.
“We want to be a great team. We’re fooling ourselves. If we just want to be a great team, the way we’re playing, we’re fooling ourselves. We want to win a bunch of games in the regular season, that’s cool, but we’re fooling ourselves with the way we’re playing.”
Russell Westbrook attempted an ugly 26-foot three-pointer near the end of the game but Durant was kind enough not to mention his point guard’s shot selection.
Durant was talking about this collapse:
(Video courtesy: YouTube/NBA)
Halfway into the fourth, the Thunder still had a 14-point lead but allowed easy fastbreak points, open three-pointers and offensive putbacks. At one point, OKC missed nine straight shots from the field and they were outscored 26-5 by the Clippers to end the game.
The Thunder face the Warriors on Thursday. After their previous collapse in Oklahoma City where Stephen Curry established himself as a super-human, Durant and company will feel the pressure of the Warriors’ attack and home crowd right from tip-off. How will the Thunder respond?
Another loss would send the Thunder to their sixth loss in the last eight games.
More importantly, another defeat would send more doubts and questions to Kevin Durant’s mind; “Is this the team I want to sign with when I hit free agency?”
The Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat and Warriors are among the teams reportedly interested in Durant in the 2016 free agency.
Photo courtesy: J.smith/Wikimedia Commons