The Brooklyn Nets fell to 8-18 on the season on Wednesday night as they blew an 18-point lead entering the fourth quarter against the Thunder, as Paul George erupted for 25 points in the final period.
It was the largest comeback in Thunder franchise history and, unfortunately for the Nets, a familiar sight this season. Brooklyn is an unfathomable 3-11 this season in clutch games (games where the lead is five or less on either side inside the final two minutes of regulation), which, unsurprisingly, is the most losses in the league in those situations — three teams have eight.
Brooklyn’s inability to find wins in tight games late isn’t a tremendous surprise given their roster construction and relative youth, but it’s becoming harder for Nets fans to be encouraged by the close losses as a sign they’re nearing a breakthrough when those L’s keep piling up.
On the Oklahoma City side, George and Westbrook got it going late as Russ picked up his 108th career triple-double with 21 points, 17 assists, and 15 rebounds and George dropped 47, including the aforementioned 25 in the fourth quarter.
The two connected for the game-winning shot, as the Nets defense all went toward Westbrook as he took the inbound, while George faked a screen and slipped out uncovered to the opposite wing, where all he had to do was pump fake and let the defender fly by before setting up a wide open three-point look.
Westbrook came up with a crucial defensive play on the Nets’ next possession to knock the ball away and out of bounds, leaving just 0.1 on the clock for the Nets to try and throw a miraculous lob play that went begging.
The win moves the Thunder to 16-7 on the season, keeping them tied in the loss column and a half-game out of first place in the West.