CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
This one came right down to the wire.
After tailing most of the game, Charlotte had a chance to steal the win with 3.9 seconds left but Josh McRoberts missed a wide-open 3-pointer from the left wing. Sefolosha was fouled and clinched it with two foul shots on the other end.
Bobcats coach Steve Clifford wasn’t satisfied with his team taking one of the league’s best teams to the wire.
“This may surprise you, but I didn’t like at all the way we played,” Clifford said. “I didn’t like our defense. Our attention to detail was not good at all. The things we talked about this morning that we had to do, we did a poor job with. We gave them baskets. Our effort on the glass was not anywhere it needs to be.”
The Thunder led 76-74 with 5 minutes remaining when Durant knocked down a pair of 3s to give Oklahoma City the momentum. He added a step-back jumper and a driving layup to push the advantage to 86-78.
But Anthony Tolliver hit a 3-pointer and Walker converted a breakaway layup to cut the lead to three with 49 seconds left.
Durant left the door open when he missed a pull-up jumper with 25 seconds left, and the Bobcats grabbed the rebound.
Instead of going for a 3-pointer to tie, Walker drove the lane and scored on a layup that cut the deficit to one. Jackson was fouled on the inbounds pass and hit one of two free throws with 10.7 seconds to go, setting up a chance for McRoberts.
“I think Ibaka ran down there to cover Kemba and I got a wide-open look at it,” McRoberts said. “I’ll take that shot every time. We’re frustrated we lost. There are no moral victories.”
The surprising news on Westbrook came just two days after he had a triple-double against the New York Knicks.