Newspaper beat guy on this game:
Thunder allowed 18 points in entire second quarter.
Thunder allowed 20 points in 3 mins, 15 seconds in third quarter with game tied 66-66.
— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) December 12, 2017
Irritated fan on same game:
Two, maybe three hall of famers with near 20+ point scoring averages on this team and they're 27 out of 30 teams in shooting percentage. A top 3 defense, yet can't compete with under .500 teams. Zero offense. It makes no sense. Blow this shit up asap.
— Kurt (@K_Freudenberger) December 12, 2017
Knotted at 52 at halftime, the Hornets and the Thunder went their separate ways in the third, and I do mean separate: Charlotte prevailed in that quarter, 40-22, and that was the end of that. The final, almost irrelevant, was 116-103. And while every starter for both teams collected double figures, we’re talking night-and-day differences. You might have thought, for instance, that 91-year-old Dwight Howard had long since been buried, along with his legendarily iffy free-throw stroke. Not so. In half an hour, Howard produced a team-high 23 points on 9-13 shooting, pulled down seven rebounds, blocked two shots and hit 5-7 from the stripe. Kemba Walker? 6-13 for 19 points. Marvin Williams? 5-8 for 18. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist? 8-9 for 17. Even Thunder outcast Jeremy Lamb managed 14 points. Meanwhile, the home team wasn’t getting near the cylinder. Russell Westbrook picked up 30, albeit on 22 shots. Paul George was 7-14 for 20. Steven Adams notched the only double-double of the night (11-10). But the bench was Fairbanks-cold, with eight players managing only 19 points. (Raymond Felton, 1 for 10? Since when?) Meanwhile, the Hornets were just flat hitting: 43 of 81 (53 percent), 13 of 25 treys (52 percent). Normally, you’d expect Andre Roberson to put a hitch in those numbers, but Dre got a little banged up against Memphis and was scratched before tipoff. At least the Thunder seemed to have recovered their free-throw mojo. knocking down 24 of 25. (Did Dre help by not being there? I’m not saying a word.)
So what happened? Let’s ask an actual NBA scribe:
I don’t care if the Thunder lose every single game from here on out, Presti made the correct decisions. Hindsight is what it is but there’s a reason we all thought it was a masterful offseason. OKC failings are on coaches and players not management.
— Josh Eberley 🇨🇦 (@JoshEberley) December 12, 2017
The next three to lose, should that be the case, will be to Indiana, Philadelphia and New York.