Trailing by two with 17.5 seconds left Wednesday at Golden State, the Thunder had the ball and a chance to tie the game or win it.
But coming out of a timeout, Kevin Durant threw a pass intended for Kendrick Perkins that was picked off by Warriors guard Stephen Curry. It was the fourth turnover of the fourth quarter for Durant and his sixth of the game.
After the game, Durant took the blame for the botched play.
“Our design was to get me a shot coming off toward the corner,” Durant explained. “But they had two on the ball. They left Perk. I just got to make a better read. I thought (Perkins) was going to (roll to the basket). But I got to hold onto that ball. That's all on me. I can't put Perk in that position. When I seen two on the ball it kind of caught me off guard. I got to be quicker on my toes. I got to make better plays.”
Warriors coach Mark Jackson, meanwhile, praised Curry for making a smart play.
“At that time we wanted to get the ball out of Durant's hands, or at least make him take a tough shot,” Jackson said after the game. “So we committed two guys to him. Actually, I just watched it again and it was a great read by Steph because (Russell) Westbrook is a little further out. Steph anticipated the play and got back in the picture.”
THUNDER NOT TAKING TEAMS LIGHTLY
Following the Thunder's 104-99 loss to the Warriors, a reporter asked Durant if it is harder for the Thunder to get up for every game now that OKC is the defending Western Conference champion. Durant seemed to take exception to the question.
“If it was like that, we wouldn't be 33-10,” Durant started. “We get up for every game. We know every game is important. That's how we look at it here. It's a big game every game, no matter who we're playing. Our record shows that we don't take any team lightly. We're not harping on the success of last year and winning the Western Conference Finals. That's over with. We get up for every single game.”
Durant, without pause, then added this.
“And me as the leader of this team, I'm not going to let nobody come in here and be sluggish or take nights off, or overlook a team, or look past a game,” he said.
PERKINS SCORES SEASON HIGH
After playing just seven minutes Tuesday night due to four fouls, Perkins responded by tying his season high of 12 points while adding six rebounds against the Warriors.
“I wanted to bounce back after the last game,” Perkins said. “I just was finding the open gap. I'm watching guys double Kevin, so I start watching film to see where I could find my spots to get in and get some opportunities. I just wanted to be aggressive.”
Perkins also had 12 points and six rebounds in the Thunder's win over Utah on Nov. 30.
THUNDER HAVING A ROUGH ROAD TRIP
Entering the fifth game of this current six-game road trip, the Thunder is 2-2 as it prepares to face Sacramento.
Although the first two games, at Dallas and Denver, both went into overtime, the Thunder is allowing 109 points per game so far on this trip.
“We've been a little bit up and down on the trip,” said Nick Collison. “I thought we played well (Tuesday) night, but the other three games were not great. We just got to get back to it. The good thing about our team is we know what to do … We know when we're not playing well, and we know what we need to do to play better so hopefully we'll do that the next night out.”
By Darnell Mayberry