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OKC Thunder: To Oklahoma City, the jumpers all looked prettier at closing time

LAKERS 114, THUNDER 106 — Oklahoma City's willingness to settle for good shots instead of working for great ones cost the Thunder dearly in this double-overtime loss Sunday in Los Angeles.
by Darnell Mayberry Modified: April 22, 2012 at 6:22 pm •  Published: April 22, 2012

“I'm not worried at all,” Brooks said of the team's continued offensive struggles. “All I focus on with our guys is getting a good shot. You're not going to make every shot. Things aren't going to always be perfect. You have to keep defending. And we put ourselves in a (position) to still win the game. But we did not make shots in the fourth quarter. But we got good shots.

“I believe in Kevin. I believe in Russell. I believe in what our guys do. Some nights they're not going to fall for you. But as long as their execution is good and the shots are good, you've got to live with the results.”

The Thunder did indeed miss a boatload of quality shots. But when things got tight — and the Thunder kept clanging them — there never came a point when OKC made the adjustment and turned down good shots for great shots. Nothing illustrated that point more than Durant and Westbrook both settling for potential game-winning 3-pointers with the game tied instead of attacking for a chance at higher percentage shots. Durant missed a 3 at the end of regulation. Westbrook missed an off-balance 3 at the end of the first overtime.

“You always can say that if you miss you could have shot a different shot,” said Durant, who scored a game-high 35 points but needed 34 shots. “I made that one before. I felt confident in it when it left my hands, just like a lot of my other shots. But it just didn't go in.”

The incessant jumpers ultimately ruined the Thunder. At the other end, the Lakers attacked and worked their way to the free throw line, making 16 of 23 foul shots in the fourth quarter and overtime. Over that same span, the Thunder earned, and made, just eight.

“I'm not concerned,” said Kendrick Perkins of the offense. “At the end of the day, offense wins games but defense wins championships. I strongly believe that. The teams that are the best defensive teams in the playoffs are the teams that win. So I'm not too much worried about our shots because I feel like if we force turnovers we'll get fast break opportunities.”

Sunday's box score: Lakers 114, Thunder 106 (2OT)