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Rapid reaction: Oklahoma City falls 121-118 to Denver in a wild one

by Anthony Slater Modified: April 12, 2013 at 6:45 pm •  Published: January 20, 2013
Russell Westbrook scored 36 points on Sunday / Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Russell Westbrook scored 36 points on Sunday / Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater

Oklahoma City’s six-game win streak came to a halt in wild fashion Sunday night, as the Thunder fell 121-118 in Denver Sunday night. Here’s some rapid reaction:

Turning point

In a game that had as many twists and turns as fouls called (61), Denver took the game’s final lead on a Kenneth Faried layup with 46 seconds left, the definitive turning point in a game that had a countless number of them.

It was over when…

…Kevin Durant flung up an errant three with two seconds left, clanging off the back rim and officially ending a wild game that included  239 points, 46 turnovers, 61 fouls and 82 free throws.

Storyline – Westbrook and Durant’s inefficiency

The two Thunder stars combined for 73 points, 14 rebounds and 17 assists tonight, continuing their recent string of ridiculous productivity. Crazy numbers indeed, but they lost. And that can be explained with a few other pertinent figures: Westbrook and Durant combined to shoot 17/46 (36.9 percent) and committed 12 turnovers. Sloppiness and poor shot selection kept the Nuggets in this one. And doomed OKC in the end.

Bench woes

But it’s not like the superstars were getting any help. Thunder bench players not named Kevin Martin combined to play 29 minutes on Sunday night. And they scored zero points. The second unit isn’t giving much production and that’s a definite concern moving forward (especially as the trade deadline approaches).

Stats of note

-Kevin Durant went 41/42 from the line the past two games (20/21 on Sunday). And his lone miss was on the 40th attempt. Crazy.
-Westbrook went 15/17 from the line, combining with Durant to become the first pair of Thunder teammates to hit more than 30 in a game.
-Westbrook scored 30+ points for the fourth consecutive game. That’s a career-long streak.
-Despite combining for 239 points, both teams shot under 50 percent.

Twitter check-in

There were three controversial and crucial moving screen calls on OKC in the extra session

Standings update

The Thunder and Clippers are now tied for the NBA’s best record at 32-9. San Antonio remains one game behind and the Grizzlies (fourth seed in the West) are a distant five games back.

Up next

The Thunder head out to California for a little road robin in the Golden State. OKC faces the Clippers on Tuesday night at 9:30, before matchups with the Warriors, Kings and Lakers.

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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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