Kevin Durant had three chances to win it for the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night versus the Houston Rockets. The ball just didn’t agree with that kind of outcome.
Durant missed a running 10-footer over Chandler Parsons and Samuel Dalembert with three seconds left and Russell Westbrook the tip, both of which would have potentially won the game for the Thunder. It was the third miss for Durant in the final 23 seconds.
The Oklahoma City Thunder found themselves trailing 96-95 after Kevin Martin made two free throws with 23 seconds left in the game.
Following a timeout, Scott Brooks drew up a play to get Durant a look from three on the next possession that he missed. The rebound went out of bounds off Kyle Lowry however and Oklahoma City retained possession.
Then on the ensuing baseline out of bounds play, Brooks called the same play that gave the Thunder a victory in Golden State a few games ago but Durant missed that shot as well after getting a pretty good look.
Durant would get the offensive rebound still giving the Thunder another chance to take the lead setting up the final scene.
Durant finished with 33 points on 12-for-26 shooting but was noticeably out of rhythm for much of the night with the credit going to the rookie Parsons.
Westbrook also gave the Thunder a heck of a performance with 26 points on 11-of-25 shooting. The tandem combined for only 11 free throw attempts, possibly the missing ingredient that would have put them over the top in this one.
It was Martin who had the hot hand for Houston with 32 points despite coming off averaging only 7.3 points per game in his last six. Daequan Cook was matched up with him early and Martin got off to a nice start with 12 first quarter points. Let’s remember how much the Thunder are missing Thabo Sefolosha.
The Thunder turned the ball over 21 times and Houston matched Oklahoma City’s free throw attempts.
The Thunder can thank their bench led by James Harden for bringing them back after a first quarter that had the Thunder trailing 29-13.
Harden led a spirited charge by the second unit especially on the defensive end to help get the Thunder back into the game. Harden finished with 17 points and made three from beyond the arc.
Oklahoma City will not like the feeling of this loss with having so many opportunities to win it. The Thunder (22-7) can look to rebound in their next game Friday back at home against the Golden State Warriors (11-14).