OKC Thunder misses some good shots against Clippers

The Thunder entered Wednesday night's game as the NBA's top shooting team from the field at 47.5 percent. OKC convincingly surrendered the top spot.
By John Rohde, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: April 11, 2012

The Thunder entered Wednesday night's game as the NBA's top shooting team from the field at 47.5 percent.

OKC convincingly surrendered the top spot, misfiring at 40.8 percent in a 100-98 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers before a stunned sellout crowd of 18,203 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Kevin Durant (7 for 21) and Russell Westbrook (3 for 14) shot a combined 28.6 percent from the floor.

“We missed some good shots,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “I can't complain. There are going to be nights and this is a classic example. … There's going to be nights you miss your shots. Kevin's not going to miss that many shots. Russell's not going to miss that many shots … but you have to have your defense. They have to have your back when you don't have your offensive game going and tonight they shot a high percentage and got too many points around the basket.”

Not only was OKC off the mark offensively, it was a half-step off defensively.

“It was tough. We didn't defend too well,” Durant said. “We missed some easy shots. That's how the game goes.”

All these shortcomings, yet the Thunder still had a chance to win. However, Durant's potential game-winning 27-footer with 1.9 seconds left went off the heel of the rim.

Durant had tied the score at 98 with a 3-pointer at the top of the circle with 32.2 seconds left and perhaps felt he had regained his shooting touch.

Though Durant had an open look on the final attempt, he admitted it wasn't the shot he was looking for.

“No, he was playing off me a little bit and it got clogged up,” said Durant, who finished with 22 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots. “I didn't want to risk a turnover, so I shot it.”

The game-winning shot came from L.A. point guard Chris Paul, who split three defenders and rattled in a layup with 8.8 seconds remaining.

Another key bucket came from Paul with 1:19 left in the game when he tapped in his own missed 5-footer to push the Clippers' lead to 98-93.

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