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Thunder fourth quarter collapse: same old story?

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Once again the Thunder found themselves in position to win against a superior team but came up short. Why?

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder played one of the top teams in the league, the Golden State Warriors, and kept the game closer than many expected, falling 91-86. Coming close in the end but not leaving the court with a victory has become a frustrating habit for these shorthanded Thunder.

However, in yesterday's game, despite never having a lead throughout, the Thunder still had the opportunity to close out the game with a victory. Despite OKC struggling from the floor all night long (Serge Ibaka and Reggie Jackson combined to shoot 15-43), the Thunder kept battling on the floor until they closed the deficit to 4 points by the end of the 3rd quarter.

The energy and loudness in the arena was roaring with optimism as the Thunder were about to have yet another improbable shot at knocking off a superior team in the 4th quarter. Surely this would be the game they finally broke through.

Yet in the end, it was more of the same. The entire team was able to score only 20 points in the fourth quarter, and their only shot creator Reggie Jackson scored 2 points only off of 1-6 shooting. Anthony Morrow was the only player on the squad who was able to generate an effective offense in the last quarter as he scored 8 points, including two 3-pointers. The team shot 31.8% from the field in fourth quarter and 22% from the 3-point line. Beside that, the team also committed 5 turnovers in the fourth quarter, taking away much needed possessions that could have helped in the end.

Scott Brooks has received much praise for keeping his team motivated and competitive in games where the Thunder have a deficiency of talent. However, if we see the Thunder keep making the same mistakes in the end that could help them earn much needed victories, the problem that gets revealed is perhaps in the planning and not the execution.