Brooks called them mental mistakes. But he insisted in the next breath that they must be corrected.
“They can be,” Brooks added.
Lamb lifted the Thunder to a 77-61 lead with 40 seconds left in the third period. The Thunder’s advantage still stood at 10 with just under seven minutes to play.
Brooklyn then scored the next 14 points and seized a shocking and sudden 93-89 lead with 2:01 to play.
The Nets produced points on six of 11 possessions during the spurt and benefited from five Thunder turnovers in that five-minute stretch, converting those giveaways into seven points.
“We just got to be better,” said Kevin Durant, who was held in check for the second straight game in the fourth quarter. “It’s tough to swallow losing at the buzzer like that, being up so much. They got momentum going into the fourth.
“We get too relaxed, man. We can’t keep doing that. We get too relaxed. A team’s down, you got to keep them down. That’s what teams do to us. When we’re down they’re going to kick us. Put their foot on our throat. We got to do the same thing.”
Once again, without star point guard Russell Westbrook, that’s proving to be quite the challenge.
The Thunder was outscored 29-16 in the final period.
After making five of its first six shots in the first five minutes of the frame, OKC missed six of its final eight shots and had five of its 14 second-half turnovers.
“We were just making bad plays,” Brooks said. “Uncharacteristic plays.”
They started early and stuck around late.