The Thunder were cooking. Cruising. Headed straight for their 33rd win of the season. They’d scored on seven straight possessions and moved out to an nine-point lead with 2:30 left.
And then something changed. James Harden stopped running the offense.
For a good stretch of the fourth, Harden was Oklahoma City’s point guard, running a beautiful pick-and-roll with Nazr Mohammed first, and then Kendrick Perkins. The Rockets had no answer for it as the Thunder completely diced and broke down the Houston defense. But as the game moved into the final two minutes, the Thunder went back to their traditional sets. Russell Westbrook re-assumed his point guarding duties and Harden went back to standing on the wing.
And the Rockets closed the game on a 13-4 run and snatched a game right out from under the Thunder. There have been home losses far more brutal than this, but I’m not sure I’ve had that shocked a feeling after Serge Ibaka’s putback dunk was blocked (or fouled) and the final buzzer sounded. Keep Reading…