In both of the past two games, the Thunder has entered the fourth quarter with a relatively comfortable lead.
And in each of those disappointing losses, the Thunder has imploded down the stretch, culminating with Thursday night's 97-95 buzzer-beating defeat to the 11-21 Brooklyn Nets.
For those collapses, there's plenty of blame to go around.
But when identifying those culpable, it all starts with Kevin Durant. He's the superstar who gets deserved credit with every win, and he's the MVP candidate whose shoulders the game is often thrust upon in crunch time.
And lately, that hasn't produced many positive results for the Thunder.
Against Portland, Durant went 0-of-5 in the fourth quarter, taken out of his game by the physical Nicolas Batum. OKC blew a seven-point lead.
On Thursday, he scored four points on only three fourth quarter shots, continually deferring to his teammates when Brooklyn flashed double teams. OKC blew an 11-point lead.
Combined, Durant went 2-of-8 shooting for five points in 20 minutes the past two fourth quarters. And combined, the Thunder has been outscored 56-32.
“Our spacing was poor,” a frustrated Durant said. “They did a good job of loading up. I just got to be stronger … I got to figure it out. I got to watch film.”
And when he watches film, he'll see an all-too-familiar sight. It'll look a lot like the playoffs last season, after the Russell Westbrook injury, when the Grizzlies threw extra attention, extra defenders and extra pressure at Durant, stagnating the Thunder offense.
It's exactly what Brooklyn did late in the game Thursday night.
“We wanted the other guys to make plays and keep the ball out of Kevin Durant's hands as much as possible,” Nets guard Joe Johnson said. “So those other guys were shooting and they just weren't making shots.”
And until Westbrook returns from his latest surgery, Durant can get used to it.
“In this specific situation,” Nets guard Shaun Livingston said, “it definitely does make it easier to double Durant with Westbrook off the floor.”
Brooks said: “We will watch it and address it tomorrow. And get better from it, hopefully, and move on to the next game because a lot of teams are going to do that. Most teams will do that.”
For the foreseeable future, the onus to fix this issue falls mostly on Durant, who must identify the pressure quicker and learn from his past mistakes.
But pressure also falls on both the coaches, who must counter with some different schemes, and his teammates, who must alleviate the pressure by hitting more shots, particularly late in the game.
Should be interesting to watch.