How The Thunder Will Fix Late-Game Offense


Tuesday, May 13th 2014, 6:24 pm
By: News 9


The Thunder surrendered a 16-point fourth-quarter lead in Los Angeles on Sunday en route to a shocking 101-99 loss to the Clippers. 

In addition to the defense allowing 18 buckets on 19 possessions in the fourth quarter, the offense stalled with isolations and poorly-timed turnovers.  

Coach Scott Brooks attributed the poor execution to a lack of ball movement and explained what the Thunder has to do better in Game 5.    

"We have to do a better job of being able to react to the double teams and be able to capitalize on their decision to double team Kevin or Russell," Brooks said.  "I could do a better job of some of our play calling. We can do a better job of setting up and setting screens."

Kevin Durant, who scored 40 points in the loss, agreed with Brooks' assessment of the lack of ball movement. Durant also debunked the talk about Chris Paul's ability to defend him 1 on 1.   

"It wasn't just Paul, I mean he's physically smaller than me so of course it was harder when little guys get up under you, but they're not gonna let Chris Paul play me 1 on 1, that's a team game," Durant explained.

"Basically, they've got three guys watching me, they had a guy in behind me, so when I caught it they double teamed as soon as I caught it and when they didn't double team, I scored.  People always got something to say about the 1 on 1 match ups in this league, which never happen, especially with me."

Russell Westbrook admitted that the Thunder took its foot off the gas after building a big lead. Westbrook explained why the Thunder's lack of focus allowed Los Angeles' double teams to be so effective.  

"Your instinct is to relax, you're up 20.  Your instinct is to relax and chill and that's kinda what we did," Westbrook said.  "In the fourth quarter they kept coming and that's when we kinda relaxed and let them take control of the game with their double teaming and all that stuff."

The Thunder still has the advantage moving forward with a 2-2 series and home-court advantage. But as Westbrook reiterated, Oklahoma City will lose that advantage unless it plays with 48 minutes of energy.  

"We relaxed. And when teams play relaxed, that's the team that gets beat."

Tip time is set for 8:30 p.m. Full coverage on news9.com/sports