The Thunder defense lapsed, Kevin Durant lost his hold on the scoring title, and the Knicks took it to the Thunder.
Knicks 125, Thunder 120.
But that's not the worst of it.
With Sunday's loss, Oklahoma City is now one game back of San Antonio in the Western Conference. The Thunder's stay atop the standings lasted less than three days, and even with five winnable games remaining, it might not be able to get back there.
That puts the Thunder on a collision course with the Rockets in the first round of the playoffs.
If you didn't like the way Sunday went, Thunder-Rockets shouldn't be your playoff preference.
The Rockets are the Knicks on steroids.
Up-and-down, high-scoring teams like the Knicks and the Rockets give the Thunder fits. They don't always beat the boys in blue, but they sure do make things tough.
The Knicks did Sunday.
“Not a lot of defense out there on our part,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.
The Knicks actually missed nearly 50 shots and shot worse than the Thunder, hitting only 49.5 percent of their shots to the home team's 57.7 percent. But the Thunder defense allowed the Knicks 15 3-pointers.
“They shot the ball well tonight,” Durant said. “Hit some tough shots. We forced them to take some tough ones.”
That wasn't necessarily the case with those threes, though. The Knicks had seven different players hit a three and got plenty of good looks from behind the 3-point line.
That's the type of thing that becomes concerning against a team like the Rockets come playoff time.
Like the Knicks, the Rockets play games like they are track meets, and like the Knicks, they have 3-point shooters who can catch fire. James Harden. Chandler Parsons. Carlos Delfino. Any of those guys can hit from outside in bunches.
That makes the Rockets a dangerous matchup for the Thunder.
A first-round playoff series against the Lakers doesn't pose nearly the problems for the Thunder that one against the Rockets does. Los Angeles is the likely No. 8 seed in the West — it controls its own destiny for that last playoff spot — which would be a heck of an accomplishment after the way it started the season. The Lakers have been playing well for several weeks, and if they hold off Utah and make the playoffs, they're going to come into the postseason feeling good.
But the Lakers wouldn't be nearly the matchup headache that the Rockets would be for the Thunder. Los Angeles doesn't want to run and gun, doesn't have a bunch of outside shooters.
The Lakers are a known playoff commodity for the Thunder, too. It has not only played the Lakers but also beaten the Lakers in a playoff series. The way the Thunder dispatched them last season is a big mental edge for Oklahoma City.
Ultimately, the Thunder is better than the Lakers and the Rockets. Who it plays in the first round should have no impact on the ultimate outcome of the series.
But after Sunday, the Thunder has no way of controlling where it finishes or who it plays.
The Spurs are in the driver's seat. San Antonio is 57-20 while Oklahoma City is 56-21, meaning that the Spurs win the West if they win out.
That's not a for-sure proposition. The Spurs have games remaining at Denver, vs. Sacramento, at the Lakers, at Golden State and vs. Minnesota. Still, if Gregg Popovich and the Spurs have a chance to win the West this late in the season, you have to like their chances.
So, as bad as things went on the court for the Thunder on Sunday afternoon, they were even worse in the standings.
“We're good,” Durant said after Sunday's game. “You know, we're good.”
He steadied his gaze.
“What do we need to panic for? We're good.”
Look at the big picture, and the Thunder superstar is correct. This is still one of the best teams in the league.
But look at the playoff scenarios, and the Thunder could be in better position.
One more bad outcome from Sunday's game.