OKC began its current road trip last week as the NBA's top defensive team in opponent field goal percentage (.412) and 3-point percentage (.283).
After surviving at trigger-happy Golden State and getting soundly beaten by the multi-faceted Los Angeles Clippers, the Thunder now is tied for fifth in opponent 3-point percentage (.311) and seventh in opponent field-goal percentage (.425).
So it goes when opponents shoot a combined 86 for 167 (.515) from the floor and 25 for 53 (.472) from beyond the arc.
OKC coach Scott Brooks expressed supreme disappointment in his team's defense in Monday's 112-100 loss against the Clippers. The Thunder wanted to smother potential lob passes, but defenders were slow to close out on outside shooters.
Thunder reserve Daequan Cook said the best part of overcoming Monday's loss is getting to play Wednesday night at Dallas.
“You live to play another game,” Cook said.
Will there be an overreaction to the Thunder getting beat so soundly?
“That's the NBA,” reserve forward Nick Collison said. “It's kind of, ‘What have you done for us lately? How have you played lately?' We're not going to overreact yet. We always have to see problems and improve upon them.”
The Thunder flew to Dallas immediately after Monday night's game and did not practice Tuesday.
“We've got a film to watch and things to get better at,” Brooks said. “This game will always humble you, not that we needed it. They (the Clippers) were a better than us tonight. They proved it for 48 minutes. We get another crack at 'em. I don't know when, but we will.”
The Clippers visit OKC on March 21 and April 11. The Thunder plays at the Clippers on April 16.
Now it gets very interesting for the Thunder. After playing two road games in a span of four days, OKC now plays seven games in a span of 10 days, with six of those games on the road.
Here is it: at Dallas on Wednesday, 7 p.m.; Memphis at home Friday, 7 p.m.; at San Antonio on Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; at Portland on Monday, 9 p.m.; at Golden State on Tuesday, 9:30 p.m.; at Sacramento on Feb. 9, 9:30 p.m.; at Utah on Feb. 10, 9:30 p.m.
PROPS TO CLIPS
The Thunder was built with a slew of trades that brought early draft choices and key role players, and with retaining players it wanted to keep.
The Clippers have restructured themselves primarily through trades and free-agent acquisitions of All-Star veterans Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler.
“Their guy should win executive of the year with all the moves he made,” Thunder forward Kevin Durant said of Clippers general manager Neil Olshey. “Getting CP, keeping DeAndre (Jordan) and getting Caron and Chauncey. They're gelling so well. They're playing well right now.”
Paul, on the Clippers making four straight 3-pointers for a 12-0 spurt in a span of 51 seconds just before halftime: “That was probably the best exchange of basketball I've ever been a part of since I've been in the NBA. Four 3s in under a minute, and not only did we make the shots, it was how we did it. We moved the ball, and just the excitement of it.”