By Randy Renner
This was supposed to have been a week the Thunder could make up some ground. Three winnable games even with a depleted roster.
But instead of going 3-0 or even 2-1, the Thunder managed to take just one of the three to fall to 3-7 after 10 games. The worst loss came last night, 96-89 in overtime, to the woeful Detroit Pistons who'd never won a game in OKC and came in having lost three straight overall this season and all four of the games they'd played on the road.
Thunder backup point guard Reggie Jackson shouldered the blame.
"I failed my teammates ... they played great, it was never supposed to go to overtime," Jackson said. "I let them down tonight, so if anybody rests uneasy it's my fault. Anybody who watches the game, Brandon Jennings definitely destroyed Reggie Jackson. We lost the matchup and that's why we lost tonight."
Well, Jennings certainly got the best of Jackson in the second half and in the overtime period but Reggie's overall play was one of the reasons the Thunder survived long enough to get the game into overtime.
He finished with 20 points on 9-for-17 shooting and 12 assists. Pretty solid night. And in the first half he dominated his matchup with Jennings, the Pistons point guard, limiting him to just four points.
But Jennings scored 25 in the second half and overtime and Jackson missed a wide open 16-foot jumper that would have won the game so that led to Jackson blaming himself for the loss.
He played a role but if you want to get into the blame game there's more than enough to go around. The Thunder offense sputtered again and settled for long jumpers instead of driving the lane.
Oklahoma City put up 36 threes and got to the free throw line six times. SIX times. Even worse than taking just six free throws the Thunder could make only ONE.
1-for-6 at the free throw line...For An Entire Game.
Are you kidding me?
There's your old ball game right there.
There were a couple of bright spots. Jeremy Lamb, whose game is either hot as fire or cold as ice, was on fire last night. He got his first career double-double with a career-high 24 points and a career high 10 rebounds. He handed out three assists and grabbed three steals, he shot 10-for-17 overall and 4-for-7 on threes. A very, very nice night.
Steven Adams had 11 points, eight rebounds and five blocks. Serge Ibaka had 19 points and 10 rebounds, but he also took nine threes. Nine? He made a third of them but most nights Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook don't combine to take nine threes.
There's no question all the injuries have forced the Thunder to do things and play games in different ways than they normally would and will again once all the injuries heal.
But generally, no matter who you have on the court, 36 attempts from out beyond the arc and six tries from the stripe will not add up to a win.