Basketball is a game of runs. It’s an adage that stems back to the institution of the shot clock, and the sport became what we recognize it as today. When three transcendent stars come together, it’s going to be that kind of game.
The game changed on a decisive 20-2 run by the Cavs. LeBron and the Cavaliers absolutely destroyed an exhausted Thunder team down the stretch, and ended up winning 104-100.
Despite not having Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert, despite playing against two of the hottest players in the NBA in Westbrook and Durant, the LeBron and the Cavaliers run wild down the stretch against the Thunder.
This is all despite an efficient output from the Thunder’s big 3 of Durant, Westbrook, and Ibaka, who scored 75 points on a combined 51% shooting. Dion Waiters, perhaps eager to return to Cleveland, who drafted him, played terribly, shooting just 1-7.
LeBron did what LeBron does: 33 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds. He ignited the Cavs, who otherwise looked flat. LeBron made news for crashing into pro golfer Jason Day’s wife, who was hospitalized overnight. Tristan Thompson had some clutch rebounds for the Cavaliers down the stretch, extending possessions and breaking the Thunder’s figurative back in the fourth.
It was a disappointing loss for the streaking Thunder. It was a back and forth, emotional game with a playoff-like atmosphere. Despite Durant and Westbrook’s efforts, it just wasn’t enough against LeBron.
The Thunder falls to 17-9, still third in the West. Next up for OKC: Saturday at 7 p.m. against the Los Angeles Lakers at Chesapeake Energy Arena.