Copyright ©2012 The Associated Press. Produced by NewsOK.com All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
The 3-ball put Denver ahead by nine with 7:11 remaining. The Pepsi Center crowd erupted, standing and showering the arena with a heartfelt applause in an incredible display of its appreciation for its never-say-die Nuggets. Right then, the pressure of a closeout game, on the road no less, became crystal clear. The next seven minutes would be the most difficult the Thunder has ever seen. And the boys in blue just couldn’t quite survive. The Nuggets avoided a sweep in this best-of-seven series with a 104-101 win in Game 4 on Monday night inside the Pepsi Center to pull to 3-1 in the series. The series now shifts back to Oklahoma City for Game 5 on Wednesday night. When it does, the Thunder can take solace in how it stuck with the Nuggets despite 48 minutes of sloppy, and at times, selfish basketball. The Thunder committed 15 turnovers leading to 16 Nuggets points. And when Thunder players weren’t giving away the basketball, they were playing like anything but a team united or poised to punch its first ever win in a playoff series. “We knew going into this series that every game was going to be tough,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “Trust me, we didn’t go into this series thinking we were going to sweep this team.” Russell Westbrook happened to be the face of the Thunder’s misery on Monday. The Thunder’s starting point guard scored 30 points on 30 shots and air-balled a potential game-tying 3-pointer with 7.9 seconds remaining. Westbrook wasn’t alone. For much of the night, it appeared as if the Thunder succumbed to the Pepsi Center crowd, a shocking display of a lack of composure by what has been a mature group.
Nuggets hold off Thunder in Game 4 to avoid sweep
DENVER — When J.R. Smith stepped into a rhythmic 3-pointer from the left corner, drilling the money ball directly in front of the Thunder’s bench, he turned to his home fans and let out a vicious roar.
Videoview all videos
Photoview all 25 photos
NewsOK Related Articles
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
VIDEOS FROM NBA TV
Buy Tickets View all
- 14417OKC Thunder: Thunder trio praise fans before potential departures
- 14044Oklahoma State football: Todd Monken thinks Wes Lunt should've stayed in Stillwater
- 8989Oklahoma medical examiner reports cause of deaths in Grand Lake boat crash
- 7004Oklahoma football: Sooners get pair of commitments
- 5982Soaring gasoline prices hurt Oklahoma City area retailers
- 5451Student shot dead during botched home invasion
- 5357Report: OSU blocking Wes Lunt from transferring to the SEC, Big 12 and Southern Miss