Oklahoma City Thunder: Suddenly, the Thunder has trouble winning on the road

Oklahoma City is just 3-4 in the past seven road games. Over that span, the Thunder has allowed 107.2 points per game and 46.8 percent shooting.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: February 3, 2013
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So what's up with the Thunder all of a sudden on the road?

Next to the status of Kevin Durant's rib, that's now the biggest question facing this team.

It's also one you could pose to five different people within the organization and possibly get five different answers, most of which might seek to sugarcoat the ugly truth, which is the Thunder is in a real rut at the moment.

Oklahoma City is just 3-4 in the past seven road games. Over that span, the Thunder has allowed 107.2 points per game and 46.8 percent shooting.

Not exactly the type of numbers that validate the Thunder as a defensive-minded team.

“We just got to be better,” Durant said when asked what gives. “No excuses.”

Saturday's loss at Cleveland summarized the recent road struggles. The Thunder gave up 115 points, the most it has allowed in a regulation game this season, and allowed Cleveland to score 58 points in the final 19 minutes — 39 in the fourth quarter.

“It's always concerning when we don't play defense the way we're capable of playing,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “Is it going to be the end of the world? No, because we always come back and pride ourselves on what we do and stick with the basic fundamentals; and that is guarding the ball, that is helping off the ball and that is rebounding the ball. And we usually do that. We've done that pretty much all season long. It's unfortunate the last few games on the road we haven't.”

At 15-9, the Thunder still owns the second-best road record in the West, which shows how successful the team has been away from home for much of the year. Still, in large part because of the recent road failures, the Thunder has relinquished the top spot in the conference and has fallen to second place in the standings behind San Antonio. OKC also is now just two games ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers — who are dealing with their own set of struggles — for the 3 seed.

In addition to possibly surrendering home-court advantage throughout the playoffs by falling from the 1-seed to the 2-seed, a fall to the 3-seed also would mean the Thunder likely would match up with a more dangerous team like Denver or Golden State as opposed to Utah, Houston or Portland.


by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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