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Thunder Get Burned by the Beard

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The Houston Rockets outscored the Oklahoma City Thunder 25-10 over the final 5:57 of the game, and found a way to upset the Thunder 122-119. The Thunder drop to 39-15 on the season, and are now just 16-11 on the road. Kevin Durant had a triple-double with 15 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds in the loss. It was the beard show, James Harden who really just hurt Oklahoma City. Harden had 46 points in the upset win.

Early in the game, the Rockets (30-26) really shot the lights out. They nailed 8-of-10 three-pointers in the first quarter, and had as much as a 12-point lead in the first quarter. A solid performance by Russell Westbrook in the quarter really kept Oklahoma City in the game. Westbrook had 12 first quarter points, including three rebounds.

Despite the Rockets nailing eight threes in the quarter, it was the Thunder who answered back after the Rockets grabbed their 10-point lead at 29-17 with 3:09 left in the quarter. Oklahoma City (39-15) closed the quarter to as close as 34-29 with about 30 seconds to go in the quarter, capping a 12-5 run.

Thabo Sefolosha, and Serge Ibaka were the two facilitators in the second quarter, Oklahoma City grabbed the lead, and led by as many as nine points. Rockets were cold from three-point range in the quarter. Houston, at one point in the game, were just 1-11 from behind the arc.

Every time the Thunder would try and pull away from the Rockets in the third quarter, grabbing multiple seven and eight point leads, Houston found a way to get right back in it. Main point, Chandler Parsons foul and one with 6:55 left in the quarter, cut the Thunder advantage to just 73-72.

The thunder were trying to that pull away thing again as the quarter ended, but Harden nailed a basically running jump shot from about 46 feet to cut the Thunder lead to 92-87.

Oklahoma City was 35-2 heading into the third quarter when they led. It would be 35-3 after this game.

A Kevin Martin dunk early in the quarter gave Oklahoma City the 99-88 lead, their first double-digit lead. Back-to-back three pointers from Martin and Sefolosha gave Oklahoma City the 107-93 lead with 7:13 left in the game. It seemed Oklahoma City was running away with it. Momentum was going their way.

Thabo Sefolosha played just fantastic tonight. After he hit that three with 7:13 left, that gave him 28 points for the game. That is a new career high for Sefolosha in points and made three pointers, with six. It wasn’t enough tonight though.

With 5:57 left in the quarter, Oklahoma City grabbed the 109-97 lead. It almost seemed like the game was in lock. Harden decided it wasn’t. Harden finished 4-of-4 for 12 points in the final six minutes of the game. He was key in the Rockets going on a 21-2 run.

Here is the Box score for the final 5:50 of the game. Just something awful to view.  (click to make bigger)

Thunderstuff

The Rockets outscored Oklahoma City 25-10 over the last six minutes of the game. Oklahoma City went just 2-of-12 over those final minutes. Including Kevin Durant, despite his triple-double, shot just 4-of-13 from the floor for the game and just 0-of-5 down the stretch.

Oklahoma City, throughout all of the wackiness in the fourth quarter, still had a slimmer of hope. Westbrook nailed a three with 26 seconds left, Cutting the lead to 119-116, Rockets lead. Westbrook was reminding everyone NOT to foul. However, some how Reggie Jackson didn’t hear him, fouled Jeremy Lin. Lin hit one free throw, and that basically ended any hope for Oklahoma City to win.

This is the first time this season that the Thunder have lost three games in a row. It’s the first time they’ve lost three in a row since last season when Oklahoma City dropped games to the Grizzlies, Heat, and Pacers April 2-6, 2013. Oklahoma City will host the Timberwolves on Friday, trying not to lose their fourth straight for the first time since the 2008-2009 season, Thunder’s first season in Oklahoma City. That also was in April. April 3-8, 2009. Thunder fell to Portland, Pacers, Spurs and Nuggets.

Keys to the Game

Get it together: C
For 2 1/2 quarters, this team looked like the team we’ve been watching all season. Then the other 1 1/2 quarters, we all sat there scratching our heads. It’s obvious we have some serious flaws, and keeping this team concentrating on the task at hand, winning games is tough.

Turnover Battle: C
Oklahoma City turned the ball over 22 times, allowing 29 Rocket points. It was just an embarrassment, every time the Thunder turned it over, the Rockets made them pay. Something that has become a norm in Thunder games. Which is NOT good.

Thabo vs. Harden: F
Thabo was taken to town tonight. Harden had 46 points tonight. It was so bad, that coach Scott Brooks tried other defenders on him, and did nothing to even put a dent in his chance tonight. Harden really exercised some demons by getting this win.

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