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OKC Thunder blows lead, falls to Sacramento Kings

Despite getting 33 points from Russell Westbrook and 27 from Kevin Durant, the Thunder blew a 95-87 lead in the final five minutes, falling 106-101.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, Published: February 10, 2012
"It's tough to lose," said All-Star starter Kevin Durant, who had 27 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. "No time to panic. I know that for sure. We play a tough team tomorrow (Utah) in another tough arena. Tonight was like a playoff atmosphere."

Also overshadowed was Serge Ibaka tying a career-high with 10 blocked shots before fouling out with 1:05 left. The Thunder set a Seattle franchise record with 17 blocks on the night.

"We scout and we know they liked to drive," Ibaka explained in broken English. "That's why I tried to be there every time."

James Harden added 17 points off the bench, but it wasn't enough overcome the rejuvenated Kings, who are on a roll under Smart, winning four of their last five.

"We know what's expected out of our group, night in and night out," Harden said. "We just didn't do it tonight. Too many turnovers – first half, second half, at crucial times in the game. Too many charges, things like that, things we can control."

After trailing by nine on two occasions early in the game, the Thunder quickly stabilized and wound up trading punches the rest of the night.

OKC built a 77-70 lead with 1:24 left in the third quarter, but allowed the Kings to go on a 10-1 run to lead 80-78 early in the fourth quarter.

Six straight empty possessions after Cook's 3-pointer gave the Thunder an eight-point advantage allowed Sacramento to creep back to within 95-94 with 2:42 left.

The Kings outscored the Thunder 30-23 in the final period, including a 10-2 margin at the free-throw line. Sacramento also outrebounded the Thunder 13-7 in the final period, which included five offensive rebounds. On the night, the Kings had 17 offensive rebounds and 17 second-chance points.

"This can't continue to happen," Brooks said, shaking his head again.

Thursday's box score: Kings 106, Thunder 101