INDIANAPOLIS — Nick Collison struggled to find the right words when asked what the Thunder can learn from yet another loss in the final minutes, this time a 107-99 defeat Monday night at Indiana.
"It’s the same thing,” Collison said. "I don’t know. We got to try to change what we’re doing. We’re just not getting it done.”
In short, that has quickly become the story of this season. The Thunder can’t find a way to close out games.
Despite a game- and season-high 37 points from Kevin Durant, the Thunder fell to 1-6 after losing its third straight contest because of late-game blunders rooted in poor offensive execution and puzzling defensive inefficiency.
Oklahoma City turned the ball over five times in the decisive fourth quarter, three of its giveaways coming in the final 2
minutes, and allowed Indiana to shoot 52 percent in the period. The Thunder, meanwhile, missed 13 of 20 shots in the final quarter.
"We have to learn how to finish,” Durant said.
Making this one sting a little more is the Thunder once held a 15-point lead with 10:41 remaining in the second quarter. And even though that lead dwindled to a three-point margin at the half, Oklahoma City still stared at a 95-all tie with 2:43 remaining.
While the Thunder continued to take jump shots inside the final three minutes, leading to 2-for-7 shooting over that span, the Pacers used their defense to lead to easy transition buckets and manufactured points at the foul line.