Streak Snapped: Thunder Fall To Pistons Without Durant & Ibaka


Tuesday, March 29th 2016, 10:40 pm
By: Brett Coppenbarger


Despite playing some of its best basketball as of late, Thunder head coach Billy Donovan opted to rest both Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka in the team’s matchup with the Pistons on Tuesday night, and the Thunder lost in Detroit as a result: 88-82.

Related: Thunder Social Scene

It was the perfect ending for one of the sloppiest Thunder games of the season.

With the Thunder trailing by only three points with 1:30 left in the game, Reggie Jackson dribbled at the top of the key waiting for the pick, and once the screener came, Russell Westbrook gambled on a steal while Kanter stood flat-footed as he came up to help, therefore leaving Jackson with a wide open lane for an easy dunk to put the Pistons up five points.

With the game still in reach and OKC possessing the ball, the Thunder had a chance to make it a one-possession game with 1:08 left, but instead Randy Foye threw an errant pass on an inbounds play which hit off Westbrook’s knee and out of bounds. Despite that miscue, the Thunder held strong on defense and had yet another chance to get within a bucket, but Foye was called for an offensive foul after he stuck out his knee while driving into the lane and Detroit was eventually able to ice the game with free throws on the other end.

OKC wasn’t able to get in much of an offensive flow without the services of Durant and Ibaka, but still found a way to lead by two points at halftime. As fortunate the Thunder was to still be in the game without two of its three best players, the third quarter didn’t go as planned. OKC only managed to score nine points in the frame-- its lowest scoring quarter of the season-- while the Pistons’ third quarter was highlighted by a 16-to-2 run which helped Detroit build a 14-point lead going into the fourth.

Despite a valiant comeback that brought the Thunder as close as one point in the fourth, sloppy basketball and questionable decision making ultimately cost OKC in the final couple of minutes as they drop to 52-23 on the season and snap its eight-game winning streak.

Westbrook finished with 24 points and six assists, but shot a horrid 8-for-28 from the field. Westbrook also finished with a team-low plus/minus with a -20. Enes Kanter was the only other OKC player to score in double digits with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Eleven Thunder players scored in the loss, highlighted by Josh Huestis’ second NBA appearance in his two-year professional career. The Stanford alum totaled five points in 16 minutes while playing sound defense.

Marcus Morris led the Pistons with 24 points and seven rebounds while Andre Drummond added 13 points and 15 rebounds. Former Thunder guard Reggie Jackson scored 13 points for the Pistons and wasn't hesitant to celebrate once the game was in hand. 

The Thunder will look to kick start another winning streak when they host the Clippers on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. 

With the Thunder trailing by only three points with 1:30 left in the game, Reggie Jackson dribbled at the top of the key waiting for the pick, and once the screener came, Russell Westbrook gambled on a steal while Kanter stood flat-footed as he came up to help, therefore leaving Jackson with a wide open lane for an easy dunk to put the Pistons up five points.

With the game still in reach and OKC possessing the ball, the Thunder had a chance to make it a one-possession game with 1:08 left, but instead Randy Foye threw an errant pass on an inbounds play which hit off Westbrook’s knee and out of bounds. Despite that miscue, the Thunder held strong on defense and had yet another chance to get within a bucket, but Foye was called for an offensive foul after he stuck out his knee while driving into the lane and Detroit was eventually able to ice the game with free throws on the other end.

OKC wasn’t able to get in much of an offensive flow without the services of Durant and Ibaka, but still found a way to lead by two points at halftime. As fortunate the Thunder was to still be in the game without two of its three best players, the third quarter didn’t go as planned. OKC only managed to score nine points in the frame-- its lowest scoring quarter of the season-- while the Pistons’ third quarter was highlighted by a 16-to-2 run which helped Detroit build a 14-point lead going into the fourth.

Despite a valiant comeback that brought the Thunder as close as one point in the fourth, sloppy basketball and questionable decision making ultimately cost OKC in the final couple of minutes as they drop to 52-23 on the season and snap its eight-game winning streak.

You have to admire the no quit attitude by Oklahoma City. #News9Thunder

— Steve McGehee (@SteveMcGehee) March 30, 2016

Westbrook finished with 24 points and six assists, but shot a horrid 8-for-28 from the field. Westbrook also finished with a team-low plus/minus with a -20. Enes Kanter was the only other OKC player to score in double digits with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Eleven Thunder players scored in the loss, highlighted by Josh Huestis’ second NBA appearance in his two-year professional career. The Stanford alum totaled five points in 16 minutes while playing sound defense.

Plus/minus: Russ -20. Payne +13. News9.

— Dean Blevins (@DeanBlevins) March 30, 2016

Marcus Morris led the Pistons with 24 points and seven rebounds while Andre Drummond added 13 points and 15 rebounds. Former Thunder guard Reggie Jackson scored 13 points for the Pistons and wasn't hesitant to celebrate once the game was in hand. 

Not sure I like the Reggie strut at the end here. #News9Thunder

— Steve McGehee (@SteveMcGehee) March 30, 2016

No #Thunder player sought out former teammate Reggie Jackson after game -- not surprisingly. Butt-ugly game. @News9

— Dean Blevins (@DeanBlevins) March 30, 2016

The Thunder will look to kick start another winning streak when they host the Clippers on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. 

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Without the services of Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka, the Thunder struggled to get much going in Detroit and fell to the Pistons 88-82 to snap its eight-game winning streak. 

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