The NBA did what it could to help the Thunder on Monday night. The league scheduled a game against Golden State inside the Ford Center. The 5-15 Warriors came in having lost nine straight and were without starters Stephen Jackson and Corey Maggette. Golden State’s best player, guard Monta Ellis, is expected to miss the first 30 games this season.
Rather than accepting the Warriors as the get-well card they are, the Thunder remains under the weather (so to speak). Golden State’s 112-102 victory gives the Thunder a 2-20 record. When you’re struggling as much as the Thunder, and you have a chance at victory like Monday, you had better pounce. Instead, the Thunder rolled ... over and played dead. We here in Oklahoma are a forgiving people, but Monday’s performance from the Thunder bordered on the ridiculous for the first three quarters. To its credit, the Thunder mounted an admirable comeback and trailed 105-102 with 32.9 seconds left, but could pull no closer. Shame on the Thunder for trailing by as many as 21 points. "We expected to bring it in the first half,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. Not even close. The Thunder trailed 61-42. "We dug ourselves a big hole early,” said both Kevin Durant and Desmond Mason, almost in unison. If the Thunder keeps digging holes like this, they’ll reach China by New Year’s Day. "We didn’t win the world championship, but it sure felt like it,” Golden State coach Don Nelson said afterward.