Thunder succumb to ‘trap game’

By Michael Dugat
FOXSportsSouthwest.com

December 19, 2010

Despite plans or intention, traps befall men from time to time. After completing a trade the day before, the Phoenix Suns arrived in Oklahoma City Sunday night amid the constraints of a depleted roster. Gone were Jason Richardson (their leading scorer), Hedo Turkoglu and Earl Clark, and yet to arrive were newcomers Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus.

In their apparent weakness, the trap (game) was set.

Kevin Durant shrugged off a poor shooting first half, where he went 2-of-11 from the floor, to come on strong with 10 points in the fourth quarter, only to see his Thunder come up just short with a 113-110 loss, snapping their five-game winning streak.

Adding to the frustration of the defeat, the final seconds were marred by two controversial calls that fell in the favor of the Suns.

The first came after Channing Frye missed a shot: Durant quickly grabbed the rebound and passed the ball to Russell Westbrook, who began to dribble. Though the replay clearly showed Scott Brooks signaling for a timeout prior to Westbrook putting the ball on the floor, it was granted after the fact.

This small detail denied the Thunder the ability to move the ball to the offensive end of the court for a throw in with only 9.6 seconds left on the clock.

After a timeout and down three, Westbrook took the inbounds pass and was intentionally fouled by Goran Dragic