clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Russell Westbrook and the Thunder blew it

We have that and more in Friday’s NBA newsletter.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder are 0-4 for the first time ever after blowing a 16-point halftime lead, leading by nine with just over four minutes left, and losing to the Boston Celtics.

A loss to the Celtics isn’t a huge deal. It’s totally in the way it happened.

Here are the results of the Thunder’s offensive possessions after taking that nine-point lead with 4:22 left: Russell Westbrook misses a long two, Alex Abrines misses a three, Jerami Grant gets the offensive rebound and misses a three, Paul George misses a three, Westbrook turns it over, Westbrook misses a long two, Westbrook misses a floater (the Thunder are still leading by one here), Steven Adams splits a pair from the line, Westbrook misses a three early in the shot clock in a tied game with 45 seconds left, Westbrook (a career 31 percent three-point shooter) misses a 28-footer on a commandeered out-of-timeout play with the Thunder down three at 28 seconds left (a horrific shot), Paul George misses a three down four, Westbrook gets the offensive rebound but turns it over trying to feed Steven Adams inside, Abrines misses a meaningless three with four seconds left. Celtics win by six.

The Thunder scored one point in that final 4:22 ... in 11 possessions. The Celtics scored 16 points in their final 11 possessions and 4:22.

We all might owe Carmelo Anthony an apology.

Westbrook made some bad decisions (especially that wild three with 28 seconds left), but Billy Donovan needs to take responsibility for not holding his team accountable. He said after the game that he didn’t think it was a terrible shot while hinting that’s not what they drew up. (It sounds like the plan was to score a quick two and foul. Westbrook took a deep three immediately after catching the ball, like he’s Steph Curry or something.)

Westbrook’s final line: 13 points on 5-20 shooting, 15 rebounds, 8 assists, 5 turnovers. The Thunder aren’t going to win many games like that unless Kevin Durant comes back. (Kevin Durant’s not coming back.)


Cavaliers 103, Pistons 110
Blazers 128, Magic 114
Celtics 101, Thunder 95
Nuggets 114, Lakers 121


On Friday:
Warriors at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV
Bucks at Wolves, 8 p.m. ET, League Pass
Wizards at Kings, 10 p.m. ET, NBA TV

On Saturday:
Celtics at Pistons, 7 p.m. ET, League Pass
Jazz at Pelicans, 7 p.m. ET, League Pass
Blazers at Heat, 8 p.m. ET, League Pass
Lakers at Spurs, 8:30 p.m. ET, League Pass

On Sunday:
Warriors at Nets, 5 p.m. ET, League Pass
Wizards at Clippers, 9:30 p.m. ET, League Pass

See the full weekend schedule.


SB Nation has a new podcast called It Seemed Smart, hosted by Spencer Hall. It’s about amazingly terrible/terribly amazing sports cheating plans gone awry. The first episode on the Great Bat Caper is incredible. Check it out, rate it and review it and tell Spencer you want more.

The Lakers pulled a huge win on Thursday in front of the known world (who didn’t fall asleep at halftime) over the Nuggets. Denver led most of the first half as Nikola Jokic flambéed LA’s frontcourt, but the Lakers struck back in the second half. Lance Stephenson was crucial down the stretch. He busted out the air guitar. Lonzo Ball is good. Josh Hart is good. LeBron James is fine.

Seerat Sohi on how LeBron can erase early season doubts about the Lakers.

Paul Flannery on why the vaunted Celtics starting lineup isn’t scoring efficiently.

The Rockets are reportedly back in the Jimmy Butler sweepstakes, offering four first-round picks.

How the Pacers censored a NSFW play.

Great Alex Wong piece on the birth of the CLASSIC purple and red Raptors jersey.

There’s a lot of pleasure in seeing LeBron troll an angry Jim Boeheim on Twitter over amateurism and then Boeheim to claim he’s not mad.

What if both the Hawks and the Mavericks won the Trae Young-Luka Doncic trade?

Were we wrong about Steph Curry? Is he poised to win another MVP?

The Detroit Pistons are undefeated.

Looking back (again) at the Chris Paul trade veto.

Michael Jordan is now an investor in one of the biggest esports brands.

Are the Thunder taking good shots but missing them?

Be excellent to each other.