Oklahoma City’s six-game winning streak has come to an end after falling to the Cavaliers 104-100 on Thursday night in Cleveland.
The Thunder trailed by 11 points with only six minutes left in the game, but rallied down the stretch and got within three points in the game’s final seconds. Oklahoma City had a chance on its final possession, but Russell Westbrook’s contested three-point attempt came up just short to seal the Cavaliers the win with less than a second on the clock.
LeBron James led all scorers in the game with 33 points to go with his 11 assists and nine rebounds. Richard Jefferson was Cleveland’s second leading scorer with 13 points, and the Cavs had six players score in double digits.
It was a game of runs to say the least, with both teams putting together streaky performances. The Thunder were able to build a 12 point lead just five minutes into the second quarter, but the Cavaliers had an even better response. Led by Matthew Dellavedova, the Cavaliers went on an 18-0 run to take a six-point lead with two minutes left in the first half.
OKC was able to weather the storm, and ended the second quarter on a 7-to-0 run to take a one-point lead into halftime.
The Thunder continued their strong play to start the second half, and built up their lead to 11 points halfway through the third quarter, but were outscored 16-to-9 to end the frame. The Cavaliers were rolling at that point, and there was no slowing them down in the fourth quarter.
Cleveland head coach David Blatt was dialing up the pick-and-roll offense and it was definitely working as the Cavs began to pull away with the Thunder’s bench unit out on the court. By the time Donovan decided to reinsert Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka back into the game, OKC was too out of whack for a quick fix, and came up just short of an epic comeback.
Westbrook led the Thunder with 27 points and 10 assists while Durant added 25 points and Ibaka scored 23 and grabbed nine boards. Oklahoma City was without Anthony Morrow who was dealing with a personal issue, and the bench struggled to do much without him. The Cavaliers bench outscored the Thunder’s bench 32-to-16, and proved to be a humongous factor in the outcome.
The Thunder will be back in action on Saturday when they host the Lakers at 4 p.m.