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Thunder inches closer to bottom of standings with 129-102 loss to Cavaliers

OKC hit a wall offensively in the third quarter, leading to the team’s fifth straight loss

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder suffered its fifth straight loss Thursday, falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-102 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The Thunder (20-32) played at a quick pace in the first half, scoring 61 points, including 38 in the first 12 minutes, but the team hit a wall with just 14 points in the third quarter and never bounced back.

After shooting over 55% in the first half, Oklahoma City went 6-for-20 in the third quarter on route to just 14 points. Cleveland (19-32) cruised to its second straight victory after countering with 28 points, extending their lead to 18 before the fourth. The Cavs shot over 52% in the period.

The Thunder made just 15 baskets in the second half and scored just 18 points in the paint after pouring in 32 in the first half. Ty Jerome was the team’s main source offensively down the stretch, scoring 13 of his team-high 23 points (9-for-16) in over 20 second-half minutes. Jaylen Hoard also chipped in 10 of his 12 points (4-for-9) as OKC’s first unit struggled after the break.

Cleveland rolled all night, scoring 64 points in the second half after 65 in the first. Eight Cavaliers scored after halftime, including Taurean Prince with 14 of his 22 points (9-for-15). Kevin Love scored 11 of his 18 (6-for-12) while Collin Sexton scored eight of his game-high 27 points (9-for-17).

The game started off as a track meet with both teams combining for 76 points in the first quarter, including 28 made baskets. They combined for 50 in the second quarter.

Seven players scored in double digits for the Thunder, including Jerome with 23 and Hoard with 12. Theo Maledon scored 14 (6-for-17), Moses Brown scored 13 (6-for-10), Kenrich Williams scored 12 (5-for-9), Aleksej Pokusevski scored 10 (3-for-12) and Svi Mykhailiuk scored 10 (6-for-17). Brown also capped a double-double with 11 rebounds.

The loss inches the Thunder closer to the bottom of the standings and lifts the team’s chances for a higher pick in the 2021 draft. OKC now sits in 13th in the Western Conference and is tied with the Toronto Raptors for the league’s seventh-worst record.

Oklahoma City caps a three-game homestand Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers (35-16). Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. C.T.