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Oklahoma City fell to 0-4 with a 101-95 loss to Boston Celtics on Thursday. It blew a 16-point halftime lead at home behind defensive miscues and a poor fourth quarter from its leader, but he took a long-view approach after the contest.
“We’re OK. We’ll be alright,” Westbrook said, per Royce Young of ESPN.com. “It’s early. I’m confident in my guys in this locker room, I’m confident in myself and my abilities to make sure that we have an opportunity to win a ballgame. There’s no need to panic. Obviously we’re not starting the way we wanted to, but we’ll be OK and I will make sure of that. So, not worried.”
It would be easy to point the finger at Westbrook after he shot an ugly 5-of-20 from the field and 0-of-5 from deep on his way to 13 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists, but it wasn’t all his fault.
The defense collapsed in the third quarter and allowed 40 points and gave up the commanding lead before the fourth. That same defense failed to account for Marcus Morris in crunch time, and he drilled an open three from the wing to give Boston the lead for good with 27 seconds remaining.
Westbrook missed a potential game-tying triple on the ensuing possession, capping off a fourth quarter that saw him go 0-of-7 shooting from the field.
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The Celtics rally from a 16-point deficit to beat the Thunder.
It’s their 16th double-digit comeback win since the start of last season, tied with the Warriors for most in NBA.
Russell Westbrook went 0-7 in the 4th quarter, tied for the worst mark in his career. https://t.co/YH7UjqFc6R
“That’s on me,” he said, per Young. “I take full responsibility on making sure we gotta do what we gotta do to win the game. We’ve got to do a better job making sure we close the game so, that’s on me.”
Westbrook still had confidence after the loss, and the Thunder have an opportunity in the immediate future to make up some ground in the early standings. Their next game against a team with a winning record isn’t until Nov. 5 against the New Orleans Pelicans with four contests before that.
All it will take is a few wins to get back on track, as the Thunder have plenty of time to once again establish themselves as Western Conference contenders.