OKC Thunder Are Still Improving, Which Should Terrify NBA’s Top Contenders

December 18th, 2015 by Dan Favale Leave a reply »

At a time when the NBA unequivocally belongs to the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, the Oklahoma City Thunder are knocking at the door of partial ownership, feverishly trying to wedge their way into a tier presumed out of reach.

On Thursday night, in a matchup with the Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers, the Thunder had an opportunity to bust that door open. But they blew that chance, falling to LeBron James and friends, 104-100 at Quicken Loans Arena. They leave Cleveland with a squandered six-game winning streak, knocking on a door that remains locked, still straining to look up at the Spurs and Warriors.

This was a performance worthy of everything the Thunder are, as well as everything they're not but desperately need to be. They led by as many as 12 points, at times scoring so easily it seemed the Cavaliers and their isolation-serried offense would inevitably break.

Russell Westbrook posted his normal superhuman stat line—sans an inordinate number of rebounds (three). He finished with 27 points, 10 assists and three steals on 10-of-18 shooting.

Kevin Durant threw down his ...

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