LOS ANGELES – A 51-second nightmare came just before halftime of one bad game.
That's what happened to the Thunder on Monday night, losing 112-100 to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Trailing by 16 points after the first 15 minutes, OKC had clawed its way back to within 52-46.
That's when everything abruptly went south on a West Coast trip for the team with the NBA's best record.
With halftime approaching, the Clippers exploded for 12 unanswered points on four straight 3-pointers in 51 seconds.
LA's first 3-pointer came from Mo Williams with 1:16 remaining in the second quarter.
The second 3, after a Williams steal, came from Caron Butler with 56.5 seconds left.
The third 3 came from Williams with 33.3 seconds left.
The fourth 3, after a Butler steal, came from Chauncey Billups with 25.0 seconds left.
Instantaneously, LA led by 18 points and intermission had arrived a minute too late for the Thunder (16-4), which came in having won four straight and 11 of its last 12.
"We turned the ball over, (took) bad shots, they made four 3s in a row and that's the game," OKC All-Star Kevin Durant said afterward. "In that minute, they won the game."
A sellout crowd of 19,404 inside Staples Center roared a little louder after each converted 3.
Drawing an even louder reaction than the Clippers' long-range shooting exhibition was what many will consider the best dunk of the NBA season.
Midway through the third quarter, former Oklahoma standout Blake Griffin threw down a vicious tomahawk from the right wing while being fouled by Thunder center Kendrick Perkins.
A replay was shown seven times on the scoreboard in less than one minute and was still being shown while DeAndre Jordan had a dunk himself during live action.
As for the post-game reaction to Griffin's dunk, it depends in which locker room the question was asked.
Griffin: "When they play the replay over the Jumbotron, you hear the crowd. DJ's reaction is always my gauge on what the dunk was like. I think that time he screamed, grabbed me and bear-hugged me. I figure he thought it was cool."
Clippers point guard Chris Paul: "That's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen, just like the dunk (Griffin had) against the Knicks (last season). You're watching the game, and I'm playing the game. So I can get excited for a split second, but I have to keep everyone locked in and let that one go."
Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro: "He's going to do that when he gets moving. I thought it was a great pass and obviously a great finish. He's such a tremendous athlete, you're going to see things like that once in a while just because of his aggressiveness and the way he attacks the basket."
Durant: "Man, I don't care about that dunk."
The Clippers' performance was so imposing it easily overshadowed Durant (36) and Russell Westbrook (31) combining for 67 points.
"We had a bad game," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "This is our first bad game in 20. That's the bottom line. We had a bad game. One of the things this team does well is they bounce back. You play 20 games and have one bad game, I think any team in this league would live with that. We're not proud of the way we played."
OKC fought gallantly in the second half just to retain some respect.
The Clippers (12-6) shot 52.0 percent (13 for 25) from 3-point range and 56.3 percent (45 for 80) for the game. LA came in shooting 36.0 percent from 3-point range and the Thunder was third in the league in 3-point defense at 29.5 percent.
"When we defend we are pretty good, but when we don't we are just hoping our shots go down for us and shots for them to miss," Brooks said. "We are a defensive team first, and we didn't do that tonight."
In addition to OKC playing poor defense, Durant and Westbrook got little help on the offensive end.
Daequan Cook had 12 points off the bench, but they all came in the fourth quarter (4 for 4 from 3-point range) and were of little consequence. Cook was 0 for 4 entering the final period.
James Harden started in place of injured Thabo Sefolosha (sore right foot), but his first field goal didn't come until 11:45 was left in the game.
"I just wasn't aggressive," Harden said. "We didn't play well. None of us played well." Harden missed his first six shots and finished 2 for 10 with seven points.
"He didn't play well tonight," Brooks said. "James did not have a game he normally has."
Forward Serge Ibaka, who had season-highs in points (20) and rebounds (12) on Friday night at Golden State, finished with two points and five rebounds in 31 minutes.
Turnovers once again were costly for the Thunder, who had 17 of them, which the Clippers turned into 22 points.
OKC will have Tuesday off and play at Dallas at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.