Thunder forward Kevin Durant reacts after he missed a 3-pointer in the final second of Oklahoma City’s 92-87 loss to Portland on Sunday. PHOTO BY JOHN CLANTON, THE OKLAHOMAN
The Blazers slapped the Thunder across the face at the end of three straight periods, and there wasn’t a thing the home team could do about it.
The Thunder had just 13 assists, a tell-tale sign a team is not moving the ball. Brooks noted his team’s poor spacing offensively. "We were playing too much one-on-one,” Brooks said.
No argument here.
The Thunder was a half-step off, particularly at the outset, trailing by 10 early in the second quarter. With the playoffs approaching, this is no time for poor timing.
Though Sunday night’s game was undeniably important, Brooks pointed out they’re all important when you’re headed toward the playoffs.
"If I told the fans this game was more important than any other game, then what about the other games?” Brooks said. "What about Game 39? They pay top dollar for these tickets, and you’re basically telling the fans it’s not important. Just come when it’s really important at the very end of the season, and that’s not fair.
"I tell our guys, ‘We all have a job to do for 82 games, and we all have to come up with effort for 82 games.’ ”
Therein lies the beauty of Sunday night, win or lose.
The game mattered. Last year at this time, the Thunder was 20-52 and not much mattered.
475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.