LOS ANGELES -- After the Oklahoma City Thunder blew a 22-point second-half lead, including a 17-point lead to open the fourth quarter, in a 103-98 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Kevin Durant pointed to the team's lack of discipline as the main culprit.
"They made plays, we didn't," Durant said Wednesday night. "They were disciplined, we weren't. We want to be a great team. We're fooling ourselves. If we just want to be a great team, the way we're playing, we're fooling ourselves. We want to win a bunch of games in the regular season, that's cool, but we're fooling ourselves with the way we're playing."
"We lost a few games, lost some tough ones," Durant said. "But at the end of the day, we're playing basketball, something we love to do every single day. When you look at it like that, it's not as tough as you think. But losing does suck. And we hate losing. But at the end of the day, we're still in a good spot. We've just got to climb out of where we're at right now."
Against the Clippers, turnovers and poor offensive possessions resulted in the Thunder being outscored 35-13 in the fourth quarter, including a 26-5 run to close out the final 7:25.
"I think the biggest thing is, the decision we have to make collectively as a group from an accountability standpoint is, what kind of team do we want to be?" coach Billy Donovan said. "Because in order to do that, there has to be a high level of sacrifice by everybody. This is something where you see in the first half what this team is capable of, and then can you sustain that? Can you keep playing that way? Can you keep playing the right way and doing the right things? And they do it. They do it for long stretches of time in games, but then you have these lapses where our defense nor offense was existent in the second half."
Blown leads have become something of a trend for the Thunder this season. They have lost nine games this season when leading entering the fourth quarter, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Only the 76ers have more such losses.
"You get intoxicated by winning, and you fail to realize the slippage in things that's going on," Donovan said. "When you get into these situations, most times, we would probably win a game like this doing what we did in the fourth quarter. Maybe it wouldn't have been by 20, but we win by five or six or close it out in the end, and nobody talks about it. But right now for us, I think the biggest thing is getting exposed and shining a light like there is tonight, so to a point we have to make a decision of what we want to do."
Asked whether a game like this serves as a wake-up call, Durant said the team should have had plenty of those already.
"Man, we've [already had] wake-up calls," he said. "We've already lost too many games we're supposed to win. We can't just keep talking about wake-up calls. We've got 20 games left. We can't have no wake-up calls at the end of the season.
"We've just got to be locked in from the beginning, from shootaround. You've got to think about the game of basketball, you've got to think about what you're going to do tonight from shootaround all the way to the end of the game. And if you don't do that, then talent is going to take over sometimes, but more times than not, the better teams are going to take advantage of that."
It doesn't get any easier for the Thunder, who head north to Oakland to Oracle Arena, where the Warriors can tie the longest home winning streak in history on Thursday night.
"This is great for our team. This is great. They need to keep coming," Donovan said. "This is great, just to keep playing a competitive schedule like this and have to pick yourself up and come back out there again against the best team in the league right now."
Said Durant: "You just go put it behind you, simple as that. We play tomorrow. I'm sure Coach is going to want to put in the film and all of this, and talk about this and talk about that. But it doesn't matter. We've got to dig down deep and stay disciplined, man. Throughout the whole game. And that's from the top to the bottom. Everybody. From the bench to the coaches to the players, everybody. We've just got to stick together and stay disciplined."