Career nights from a pair of Oklahoma City Thunder players still wasn’t enough to avoid the team’s first three game losing streak of the season.
Kevin Durant delivered the second triple-double of his career while Thabo Sefolosha finished with a career high scoring performance in a 122-119 loss to the Houston Rockets. Durant recorded 16 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists while Sefolosha posted 28 points, with six three-pointers along with five rebounds and three assists in the loss.
Even Russell Westbrook’s near triple-double of 28 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists wasn’t enough to overcome the outstanding career performance of a former teammate.
James Harden finally got the best of his old team, after two previous blowout losses, by going off for 46 points, shooting 7 for 8 from downtown along with eight rebounds and six assists.
The Thunder appeared to enter the contest still thinking they were on the all-star break, while Harden was determined to prove why he was an all-star selection. The Rockets broke out with an early first quarter lead before Oklahoma City woke up before half-time to take a lead.
Unfortunately, in the second half the Thunder should have left the alarm clock running because the team apparently hit the snooze button which allowed Houston to steal the contest on a late fourth quarter run.
Despite the impressive numbers put up by significant players, the game lacked playoff-like defensive tone as both teams only seemed interested in playing one side of the court. With the Thunder entering the contest second in the Western Conference and Houston entering eighth, these two teams could find themselves in a first round playoff match-up.
As previously mentioned, Oklahoma City dominated the Rockets in the team’s previous two meetings which could explain why the Thunder fell asleep late in the contest. After beginning the game sleepwalking with a sluggish post all-star weekend performance, once Oklahoma City gained the lead it looked as if the Thunder figured the game would go the same way the first contests turned out.
Unfortunately, Harden had different plans and led his team to an upset victory on home court which gave Oklahoma City its longest losing streak of the season.
Luckily for Thunder fans, if it takes a career night from Harden for Houston to win by only three points, then Oklahoma City has little to worry about in a potential playoff showdown. The chances of Harden repeating such a performance in a seven-game series is about as likely as Westbrook finding lens for his glasses.
The Thunder might be on their biggest losing streak this season, however you can bet there won’t be any sleepwalking in their next contest.