Thunder: Comparing OKC & Chicago collapses
Amazing. Another epic collapse in the NBA conference finals.
Three nights after the Thunder melted down against Dallas, the Chicago Bulls did the same. The Miami Heat beat the Bulls 83-80 to win the East, despite Chicago owning a 77-65 lead with 3:12 left in the game.
The Thunder held a 99-84 lead over the Mavericks with five minutes left in Game 4 of their series.
Both were choke jobs. Both were just total disasters. Which was worse?
The Mavericks finished regulation with a 17-2 run. The Heat finished with an 18-3 run. The Thunder held on to at least get to overtime. The Bulls did not.
The Thunder led by 15 with five minutes left; the Bulls led by 12 with 3:12 left. By the 3:12 mark of the Thunder-Mav game, Dallas was within eight, 99-91.
The Thunder’s only points of the last five minutes came on Russell Westbrook’s jumper with 2:33 left (which made it 101-91). The Bulls’ only points of the last 3:12 came on a Derrick Rose’s spinning drive for a basket with 1:46 left (to make it 79-72) and Rose’s foul shot with 26.7 (which made it 81-80; Rose missed the tying second foul shot).
The Thunder scored on only one of its final 11 possessions. During that span, the Thunder made just one of nine shots, committed two turnovers and missed its only two foul shots. Chicago’s meltdown was not so much offensive; the Bulls missed four of their final five shots and committed two turnovers, plus the 1-of-2 foul shooting.
The Bulls’ collapse was on defense. Miami scored on its final seven possessions. No stops for Chicago. The Heat scored 18 points in a span of 3:03 on those seven possessions. Read that sentence again. Miami had scored 65 points in 45 minutes, then scored 18 points in three minutes. Miami made three 3-pointers in the spree, including a Dwyane Wade 4-point play, and Wade missed a foul shot that would have completed a 3-point play.
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