Oklahoma City have been striving, and Kevin Durant is a free agent this summer. The the possibilities of them triumphing the NBA title are straying away

On Sunday, the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 104 -9 6, although it was a far from persuasion win. In the fourth quarter, Milwaukee were able to cut the Thunders 21 -point lead all the way down to two, turning what could have been a much-needed blowout into a nailbiter. Even in victory, the Thunder werent able to quieten fears that the Thunders championship window could be closing.

Before Sundays win, the Thunder were on a 1-4 skid highlighted by a series of harsh losses. First came Februarys game against the Golden state Warriors where they impounded a four-point result with 14.5 seconds left in regulation. After granting a speedy lay-up, the Thunder were called for a foul that allowed Andre Iguodala to tie video games with precisely 0.7 seconds away on the clock. In overtime, Steph Curry touched an preposterous game-winner.

As pain as that was, events would only get worse for Oklahoma City. After an easy win over the Kings, Oklahoma City managed to blow a 20 spot lead to the Clippers, eventually losing 103 -9 8. Were clowning ourselves if we want to be a great unit the lane that were playing, Kevin Durant said after the game. Were clowning ourselves.

The day after that disheartening loss, the Thunder had to face the Warriors for a second time. Once again, the Thunder looked like they were in control, up 80 -7 1 at one point in the third largest quarter and once again they faltered in the fourth. The Warriors not only won, they triumphed by the final rating of 121-106, granting little indication that it was a close game, let alone a game where the Thunder nursed a late lead.

Its not the losses themselves that should obsess the Thunder, but rather the style “theyve been” losing. Oklahoma City has legitimate anxieties when it comes to closing out plays, something which may be related to the fact that first-year manager manager Billy Donovan has been working without his two key aides. Even with Durant and Russell Westbrook both healthy and playing at an all-star rank, this Thunder team is not playing like a crew that can be trusted to triumph a seven game succession against either the Warrior or the San Antonio Spurs.

This is not good news for Thunder devotees, specially considering Joel Meyerss assertion that Durant, a free agent after the season is over, will pate elsewhere should the team fail to reach the NBA finals. Even if theres no essence behind this particular rumor, its quite likely that Durant will want to go where he will have the best probability at acquiring a championship and that may not be brought to an end being Oklahoma City.

Quote of the week

Now you know why we wanted him .

Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle on the Clippers DeAndre Jordan

Jordan, of course, was set to join the Mavericks over the off-season before the events of the Great Emoji War convinced him to re-sign with the Clippers. On Monday, Jordan put up 23 levels and 20 comebacks against Dallas in what objective up has become a 109 -9 0 Clippers victory. Mavericks owner Mark Cubans reaction, probably, was probably considerably more R-rated than Carlisles.

Video of the week

Thats the Miami Heats Burnie is inadequate to leap over a row of his fellow mascots. This incident happened during the Heats Sunday evening game against the Philadelphia 76 ers, who were probably allayed to not be the most difficult ruinous joke on the court the working day.( Greenback: theres some who feel this was a publicity stunt designed to go viral and that Burnie wiped out on purpose. Quick, somebody get Alex Jones on the action !)

How did LeBron carry the Cavalier this week?

Sometimes a governor has to do more than stimulate his team on special courts. Sometimes he has to use mental aid. As we mentioned last week, James has taken to inspiring his crew via oblique, passive-aggressive subtweeting.

LeBron James (@ KingJames) March 5, 2016

The eventual height of chemistry is when you know what I’m anticipating without saying a word and we implement it. Visa Versa. #TheDC #SFG

Its hard to say that Jamess tweeting “ve got something to” do with it, but the Cavaliers did go on a three-game win flash following his initial cryptic remarks( who the hell is propose, James eventually developed, for those who have an educated recollection ).

When the triumph streak ended with the Cavaliers inexplicably declining a game against a short-handed Memphis Grizzlies team on Monday, James decided it was time to call out his crew a bit more directly. After video games, James told the media: I can sit up here and say that were a team thats ready to start the playoffs tomorrow, but were not. So, James extended from needling members of his team on Twitter to employing the media to get out the meaning that hes miserable with them? Individual is clearly borrowing a few pages from the Phil Jackson playbook.

Power rankings

1. Golden state Warriors( previous week: 1 )

A day after being on the incorrect extremity of one of the biggest-regular season unnerves in NBA history that would be Sunday afternoons loss to the lowly Los Angeles Lakers the Warrior bounced back by making history in a most positive mode. On Monday they pulsate the Orlando Magic 119 -1 13, setting a brand-new NBA record by prevailing 45 straight home games. This after Steph Curry grew the first musician to move 300 three-pointers in a single season.

2. San Antonio Spurs( 2 )

The Warriors loss to the Lakers on Sunday made the Spurs a rare possibility to creep up the Western Conference puts. They werent able to capitalize, however, as their 99 -9 1 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Monday ensured that the status quo would be upheld.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers( 3)

Its not certain whether LeBron Jamess Twitter presence has been paying off in basketball terms, but its absolutely interested music devotees. James utilized Twitter to pressure Kendrick Lamar into liberating his new lines. As a make, Lamar released Untitled Unmastered last week.

LeBron James (@ KingJames) February 23, 2016

Yo @dangerookipawaa after that @kendricklamar Grammy recital, you are required to liberate those untitled lines asap !!! What’s up? Talk to me

James was quick not to take all the recognition, however.

LeBron James (@ KingJames) March 4, 2016

Don’t thank me, Thank @kendricklamar for represent one INCREDIBLE artist! His outlook on happenings and revelation he possesses aren’t common..

4. Oklahoma City Thunder( 4 )

The Thunders adversity-plagued year took yet another dark turn last week, as minority bet proprietor Aubrey McClendon died in a one-person wreck the day after his indictment on fraud accuses. The Thunder accommodated a moment of silence for him during Sunday competition.

5. Toronto Raptors( 5 )

From a basketball follower slant, the most entertaining aspect of Terrence Rosss reported relationship with Amber Rose are the gossip site headlines determining him as an NBA star. While are still not assured that Ross fairly characterizes as a star, he did triumph the Dunk Contest back in 2014 so well allow it.

6. Los Angeles Clippers( 6 )

In further mascot report, the Clippers made a key addition to their unit: Chuck the Condor. Reviews have not been positive.

Kristina Pink (@ Kristina_Pink) March 1, 2016

Chuck the Condor is the new LA Clippers mascot … Precisely revealed at halftime of tonight’s activity. pic.twitter.com/ COAFqq5old

Still, theres a health percentage of Clippers love that would rather look him on the flooring than Austin Rivers.

7. Memphis Grizzlies( 10 )

How unexpected was Memphiss win over Cleveland on Monday? Thanks to harms, the Grizzlies only had eight participates available hitherto they were still able to pull of the 106 -1 03 victory.

8. Boston Celtics( 7 )

The Celtics, going a win flash and ogling as dangerous as they have in years, are entered into Clevelands Quicken Loans Arena and almost immediately took a 18 phase lead. They objective up losing 120 -1 03.

9. Miami Heat (8 )

The current Heat team is on a five activity acquire blotch, but the Big Three team is still going all the juicy headlines. In an interrogation, Danny Granger made headlines by claiming that various Miami players attempted to physically confront Lance Stephenson during the 2012 playoff succession between the Heat and the Pacers.

10. Charlotte Hornets( 13 )

The eternal question in the Eastern Conference: how real are the Hornets? Well, they are on a four play prevail flash, but three of the four teams they beat in that covers were the Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76 ers and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Refute: inconclusive.

11. Atlanta Hawks( 11 )

The Hawks might be more entertaining off the court than they are on it. Watch as Atlantas Kent Bazemore asks the question: Do You Know More Dance Moves Than Mike Muscala?

12. Indiana Pacers( 15 )

During Mondays 99-91 win over the Spurs, Indiana deemed San Antonio to a season-worst 35.4% shooting.

13. Portland Trail Blazers( 9 )

The Trail Blazers have chilled off a bit, but Damian Lillard very much has not. Lillard scored 50 qualities in Friday nights loss to the Raptors.

14. Dallas Mavericks( 12 )

Rick Carlisles work as the Veteran Whisperer continues as David Lee, jettisoned by the Celtics around the busines deadline, has been averaging 20 items a game.

15. Chicago Bulls( 16 )

The good report: Jimmy Butler scored 24 phases in his Bulls return. The bad news: he had to sit out the very next tournament after suffering knee swelling.

16. Detroit Pistons( 14 )

The Pistons start a brutal six date road tour tonight, and its very possible that their rendition will determine whether or not they are capable of sneak into the Eastern Conference playoffs.

17. Houston Rocket( 18 )

Eventually, there will come a experience when James Hardens occasional defensive mistakes stop being funny. “Thats just not” that time.

18. Utah Jazz( 19 )

The Rockets arent the best, but “theyve been” just good enough to keep the Jazz outside the playoff bubble.

19. Washington Wizards( 17 )

This is a sentence that Wizards devotees must be sick of hearing: Bradley Beal once again had to sit out a game , this time after abiding a pelvic injury in Saturdays loss to the Pacers.

20. Orlando Magic( 20 )

Moral Victory of the Week Department : The Magic nearly avoided the Warriors from forming history on Monday by cutting their lead to two points with 1:13 remaining in video games.

21. Milwaukee Bucks( 21)
22. Sacramento Kings( 22)
23. New York Knicks( 24)
24. Denver Nuggets( 25)
25. New Orleans Pelicans( 23)
26. Minnesota Timberwolves( 26)
27. Brooklyn Nets( 27)
28. Los Angeles Lakers( 29)
29. Phoenix Suns( 28)
30. Philadelphia 76 ers( 30 )