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Thunder Views: A meltdown in Beantown

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Last night’s loss in Boston is going to leave a mark.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Welp, that wasn’t fun.

This time a week ago, getting 1 out of 2 games in Toronto and Boston sounded like a pretty decent outcome, but after the way Tuesday night panned out, it suddenly feels like a negative.

The Thunder led by 5 with 16.8 seconds to go and lost in regulation last night. Prior to this game, teams were 0-884 this season when trailing by 5 or more points in the last 20 seconds of a game. Not ideal.

OKC had this game won, and then it became a total mess. Bottom line? They gave this one away at the charity stripe, but let’s not completely blame this loss on missed free throws. They played some pretty mediocre basketball for about 40 minutes on the historic TD Garden parquet, but then woke up mid fourth quarter, only to do away with that quality play just minutes later.

The Thunder did receive some good news however from the crowded Western Conference, as the Utah Jazz fell to the Atlanta Hawks, failing to take advantage of OKC’s loss.

Spotlight

Free throws. “They’re called free throws for a reason!” I love when people yell that at games, so I figured I had to work that in somewhere.

Free throws have been a problem all season for this team. OKC currently ranks 29th in the league from the line, and it cost them a win on Tuesday night against an injury-plagued Celtics team. Credit to Boston, they’ve played well through this tough stretch without many of their main contributors, but man, OKC really could’ve used a better night at the line.

In a game where the Thunder lost by just one point, they went 19/29 from the free throw line. That’s 65.5%. Obviously Melo’s misses at the end of this one will stick out, but he wasn’t the only one.

Quick Rumbles

  • OKC’s bench was outscored 35-10.
  • Russ finished with 27-8-7.
  • Paul George had 24 points and 13 rebounds, but never really seemed to find a rhythm on the offensive end.
  • Steven Adams had 14 and 7, but had just two field goal attempts in the second half.
  • Here’s Melo on his missed free throws:
  • Despite a lack of shot attempts in the second half, Steven Adams is still the best:

A Look Ahead

OKC welcomes the Miami Heat to town on Friday night looking to get back to their winning ways.