OAKLAND, Calif. — With 1:16 remaining Saturday night against Golden State, Thunder forward Kevin Durant led a two-on-one fastbreak with Russell Westbrook.
A bucket would have sliced the Warriors lead to six.
What ensued, however, was two 20-year-olds going for the highlight play instead of the heady one. Durant threw a sky-high lob pass to Westbrook, who miraculously went up and got it but foolishly cocked the ball back when he caught it before clanging his dunk attempt off the back of the rim.
Warriors guard C.J. Watson then converted a three-point play at the other end to give Golden State a game-clinching five-point swing with 51.9 seconds to play.
Final score: Warriors 133, Thunder 120.
“That’s a bad play,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks of the botched breakaway. “How we’re going to get better is get smarter on top of improving our skill level. I told Kevin during the timeout, ‘That’s not winning basketball. You don’t do that. The great ones play solid and keep it simple.’ Kevin knows that’s not a good play.”
Said Durant: “I should have thrown a bounce (pass) instead of a lob. Lesson learned. It was my fault.”
The loss dropped the Thunder to 13-43, extending its losing streak to five games with the Western Conference leading Los Angeles Lakers coming to town Tuesday.
Oklahoma City has now given up 100 points or more in six straight games and lost Saturday because, for the second game in as many nights, it fell into the tempting but treacherous trap of playing a run-and-gun style.
The Thunder went into the locker room at halftime tied at 70-all, the last thing Brooks had in mind after seeing his team allow 79 points to Phoenix by halftime on Friday before losing 140-118.