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News » Thunder upset bid falls short vs. Lakers

Thunder upset bid falls short vs. Lakers

Thunder upset bid falls short vs. LakersBefore he dashed out of the Thunder's dressing room, seemingly in search of any rock sizeable enough to crawl under and conceal his 6-foot-9 inch frame from the outside world, Kevin Durant sounded as glum as he's ever been after a defeat.

He spoke to a group of reporters in a low monotone, holding back any emotion as he described what went wrong in his team's 101-98 loss to the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night at the Ford Center.

His lengthiest response was three sentences, 22 words.

His last reply, a nine-word answer, explained his disposition.

"I could have won the game," Durant murmured. "I missed shots."

On Sunday night against Portland, the Thunder's sharp-shooter proved even he isn't immune to a woeful performance, a 3-for-21 shooting exhibition against the Blazers.

On Tuesday, the third-year forward showed he still has a ways to go before mastering the art of finishing a game.

Durant walked into the fourth quarter against the Lakers with 28 points on 10-for-19 shooting. By the end of overtime, he had 28 points on 10-for-24 shooting.

He missed all eight of his 3-point attempts and had just one rebound and two assists in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Emphasizing the kind of finish it was for Durant was the 27-footer he took from the top of the key at the end of regulation that came two feet from the front of the rim with 3.9 seconds remaining and the score tied at 90.

When asked if he settled, Durant said only, "Yeah, I guess."

He failed on another opportunity to give his team the lead late in overtime when his 17-footer bounced off the rim.

"It's a great opportunity for him to be put in this position," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "And he's going to make a lot of those plays."

As it stands, it was a forgettable ending to a game that seemed to be headed toward a breakout performance for the slumping Durant. After the Thunder went down 9-0 in the opening minutes, missing its first six shots, Durant put Oklahoma City on his back. He finished the first half with 20 points on 6-for-10 shooting. He scored 12 straight points during one stretch.

But the fourth quarter was as ugly as it's ever been for Durant, who spent the period standing around the perimeter for much of his 7 minutes, 40 seconds. He took just one shot in the final quarter of regulation and had three turnovers.

"(He needs to) continue to take it to the basket and be a playmaker," Brooks said. "He got fouled and he made eight free throws. And he passed the ball. He had five assists. He is going to be a very special player if he continues to build on those habits he has now. If your shot's not falling you have to attack the basket or look for your teammates. I thought he did that tonight."

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 6, 2009


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