But the Thunder is now emphatically showing how much it learned from last year.
“It helps when you have experience, and I think we have experience now,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “(It's) not that three years ago we didn't have a chance, but we were learning how to win games.
After stunning the Staples Center crowd Saturday and taking a 3-1 series lead, the Thunder's first chance to close out the Lakers now comes in Game 5 on Monday night inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Thunder is 2-0 in the Oklahoma City era in closeout opportunities at home.
If anything, the Thunder's mounting experience and confidence suggests this series won't last much longer.
“It doesn't guarantee that we're going to win the next close game,” Brooks said, “but it puts you in the position that we have something to fall back on … and say, ‘OK, this is what we do in this situation.'