Speights capped the rally with a ridiculous drive down the right side that he punctuated with a one-handed dunk. Immediately after flushing it, Speights began to flex his muscles, first directly in front of Brooks and the Thunder's bench and then down the sideline adjacent the scorer's table as he walked back to his huddle upon Brooks taking a necessary timeout.
Almost immediately after Speights was finished flexing, Irving took over.
While the Cavs' best player was pouring in points, the Thunder strangely had its best perimeter defender on the bench. Thabo Sefolosha played only the first two minutes, five seconds of the final period — none of which matched Irving's time on the court in the fourth.
Brooks, however, neither pinned Irving's fourth-quarter eruption on Russell Westbrook nor expressed regret in not going with Sefolosha.
“It's just a decision I made,” Brooks said. “We have multiple defenders, but when we get beat on pick-and-rolls it's a five (man) defensive breakdown. It's not one guy.”
Collectively, there's no question the Thunder has some things to figure out.
Oklahoma City gave up 39 points to the Cavs in the fourth quarter and an eye-popping 58 in the final 19 minutes. Cleveland's point total was the most the Thunder has allowed in regulation this season.
It continued a troubling trend in which the Thunder has yielded an average of 107.2 points and 46.8 percent shooting in its last seven road games.
The road record stands at 3-4 over that span.
“We just got to be better,” Durant said. “No excuses. We got to be better.”