Cavs Shock Thunder, Losing Streak Hits Three - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

SPORTS: Oklahoma City Thunder

Cavs Shock Thunder, Losing Streak Hits Three

Posted: Updated:

Oh where oh where has the Thunder's defense gone?

Oklahoma City lost its third straight game on Wednesday night, falling 114-104 to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The loss marks the first three-game losing streak since February of last year, and the first three-game home losing streak since April of the 2008-09 season. 

Things certainly didn't start poorly as Westbrook helped set the tone, coming out like a man on fire. Westbrook scored seven points in the first 3:39 of the game, helping the Thunder to a 12-10 advantage.  After seven minutes, the still-recovering point guard took to the bench as the Thunder coaches continue to limit his minutes.  

Durant finished the first with nine points and five boards as the Thunder had no problems scoring.  All five starters chipped in as OKC held a 27-26 lead after one.

After exchanging buckets for the first half of the second quarter, the Thunder used a strong burst to earn a bit of separation. Trailing 34-33 with around six minutes to play, Oklahoma City shot out on an 8-0 run to seize a seven-point advantage.  

Things were looking up, but Cleveland responded with a run of its own.  Cleveland used a 13-1 run to take a 49-44 advantage with 1:39 to go in the second.  

But Westbrook was back, and so was his scoring. Russ nailed two 3-balls in the final 1:31, including one with just 1.2 seconds left to give the Thunder a 52-51 lead at halftime.  

Oklahoma City stormed out of the gate in the third, bombarding the Cavaliers with jump shots.  Durant buried a 3-pointer to open the third, followed by a 3-ball from Thabo Sefolosha.  After a Westbrook layup, Serge Ibaka drained back to back jumpers and Oklahoma City all the sudden held a 64-53 lead. 

The 12-2 run put the Thunder in the driver's seat for the first time all night.  It appeared OKC was ready to take control, but back came the pesky Cavs.  

Little by little, Cleveland chipped away at the Thunder lead, and with 9:16 to play in the fourth, Matthew Dellavedova's runner tied the game at 81-81.  Once again, the Thunder found itself in a dog fight.  

Unfortunately for OKC, Cleveland was the bigger dog.  The Cavs poured in 42 points in the fourth quarter and ran away with the ball game.  

The defensive meltdown was the topic of conversation after the game. 

"We've got to get our defensive mindset back," Russell Westbrook said. "You've got to take individual pride. Playing team defense and helping teammates out."

Thunder coach Scott Brooks was upset at his team's defensive performance over the past three games.

"Well once again, we've gotta get better on the defensive end," Brooks said. "This is the second game in a row we've given up a 40-point quarter. It's not something that we can continue to (do), play defensively like this.  We have to get better defensively. That's three games now that's not up to our level."

Durant led the Thunder with 28 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Westbrook finished with 24 points and nine assists, but all the Thunder stars wanted to discuss was Oklahoma City's lack of defense. 

"We gave up 42 points in the fourth quarter," Durant muttered in frustration.  "I can't even explain. I gotta watch the film. We gotta figure out what we're doing wrong out there. It's not on the coaches, it's on us."

"We lost. We lost. Easy," Westbrook said.  "No matter how I play, I can have 50 points (but) if we lose it don't matter.  This league is all about wins, man."

Brooks added that he believes the defensive effort wasn't where it should have been.

"Defensively, we're not getting after it enough," Brooks explained. "We're not taking pride in the basketball, we're letting guys drive around us, we're letting guys score in transition, we're not communicating, we're letting guys get offensive rebounds, we're letting guys get free throw block-out rebounds — we've just gotta get better defensively. We've been a great defensive team over the past three years and we just have to keep focusing on that end and it will turn around for us."

Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 31 points and nine assists. Jarrett Jack added 21 points and helped the Cavs' backcourt combine for 52.  All five Cleveland starters finished in double figures.  

Oklahoma City (43-15) will look to break the skid on Friday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Live Radar

ESP Interactive

More Sports

  • OU Sooners

    Find the latest sports news, schedules and more for the OU Sooners now!

  • OSU Cowboys

    Get all your OSU Cowboys information from sports highlights to the latest news & videos.

  • TU Golden Hurricane

    Follow the TU Golden Hurricane! Get sports scores, news and highlights.

  • ORU Golden Eagles

    ORU Golden Eagles fans can find the latest news on the team, scores and video here!

Powered by WorldNow
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
OKLAHOMA CITY'S OWN TM
Oklahoma's Own News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state including Oklahoma City's Own.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014, WorldNow and KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.