The Thunder should have won, then they shouldn’t have and then they could have.
Kevin Durant missed a potential game-tying three-pointer in the final five seconds and the Oklahoma City Thunder lost to the Washington Wizards on the road, 105-102.
The Thunder came into the game with an NBA-best, 12-2 record on the year and the Wizards, a league-worst 1-12 mark. The game was a sloppy one from the start but still with the Thunder in the lead for most of it. They lost that lead however late in the fourth as their two All-Stars, Durant and Russell Westbrook, had to burden too heavy a load while receiving little help.
Westbrook had another very good game looking like a veteran with 36 points, seven assists and only three turnovers. He was 14-of-26 from the floor and the Thunder’s best player tonight.
Durant’s miss on the final shot summed up a frustrating night for him. He scored 33 points but went 2-for-10 from deep and had seven turnovers.
The Thunder held Washington to under 40 percent from the floor but yielded 19 offensive rebounds to them as well. JaVale McGee did the best work on the offensive glass with six rebounds and 11 total in the game, but gave the Thunder hope down the stretch missing four free throws in the final minutes.
The game had a crazy finish that went like this.
The Thunder trailed 101-94 with just 25 seconds left. On their next possession, Durant hit a three. John Wall (25 points, 8 assists) then made one of two free throws at the other end to put Washington up five. The Wizards fouled Durant on a three-pointer on the next play and Durant cut the lead back down to two with 11 seconds left.
Jordan Crawford (18 points) then made two free throws to put Washington back up four. A quick rebound and just four seconds later, Westbrook had rushed all the way up the other end for a layup.
Nick Young (24 points) made one of two free throws after that which set the stage for the final play.
The Thunder had five seconds left to get a three-point shot off on the final play but Durant took the opportunity to shoot quickly. He got the inbounds pass 30 feet out, received a screen from Kendrick Perkins then stepped into a 27-foot shot attempt from dead on.
The make would have been all-time. The miss was fitting.
The Thunder got beat in the three areas I noted in my preview article earlier today. They got beat on the boards giving up 19 rebounds. They let Washington get out and run giving up 23 fastbreak points. And they died by the three, going 4-for-19 in the game.