With 8:08 left in the fourth quarter, the Thunder led by eight on the road at Oracle. Kevin Durant’s hand was smoldering and it appeared he was transitioning fully into Closer KD.
Then this weird thing happened where he went 1-of-5 the final six minutes, had four turnovers and missed a critical free throw. Then I woke up, or at least I was hoping so.
The easy excuse here is that the Thunder ran out of gas. Second night of a back-to-back on the road, the Thunder didn’t defend and didn’t execute in crunchtime. And by “didn’t execute” I really mean Durant’s powerup didn’t last the full 48 minutes tonight. He’s Oklahoma City’s horse, the guy they’re going to run into the ground when things are tight. Most times, he carries them through. Tonight, he didn’t. The Warriors doubled and tried to flush him, but KD still got looks — he just missed.
But it’s not like he had a bunch of help either. A few more key stops, a few more defensive boards or a not completely awful night from Russell Westbrook would’ve helped. Keep Reading…