OKLAHOMA CITY — Forward Kevin Durant knows what a slump feels like. His first year in Oklahoma City, the Thunder had one of the worst teams in the NBA.
So when the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Thunder 114-104 Wednesday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena and handed them a third straight defeat, Durant tried to find a silver lining, even as his head and shoulders slumped in dejection.
“We good,” Durant responded when asked if his frustration was at an all-time high. “We started off 3-29 (2009). Nothing gets worse than that.”
The loss was the third straight at home for the Thunder (43-15), all since guard Russell Westbrook returned to the lineup. They have not lost that many in a row at home since 2009, their first year in Oklahoma City.
“It’s not the worst,” Westbrook said. “We lost a string of 29 when I first got here.”
Cleveland guard Kyrie Irving caused much of the Thunder frustration in the fourth quarter Wednesday.
After another 3-pointer by Irving and a tough layup in traffic by center Spencer Hawes, the Cavs (23-26) led 103-97 with 3:05 left.
Durant responded with a jumper before Hawes answered with a mini-hook shoot. Thunder forward Serge Ibaka missed an easy layup at the rim that would have cut the deficit to four.
Instead, Irving came down and completed a three-point play to give Cleveland a seven-point advantage with 1:26 left.
After Westbrook missed a shot, Cavs guard Jarrett Jack put the contest away with a jump shot over Ibaka to push the lead to 11 with less than a minute left.
“The Thunder are a tremendous team, especially in this building,” Jack said. “They’re a championship-contending type of team, and they’re going to make those runs. We just have to do our best to weather the storm and still stay as even-keeled as possible.”