It looked so easy, a surefire win seemingly already in the bag, all they had to was see the game out and hang on for an important victory against one of their nearest rivals.
But it didn't happen that way, and in the end, the Oklahoma City Thunder came away from the Staples Center in Los Angeles having managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory against the Clippers in an eventual 103-98 final score.
The Thunder somehow managed to blow a 17-point lead as they entered the fourth quarter, and speaking after the crushing loss, Kevin Durant didn't seem too happy, saying that OKC are "fooling themselves" if they think they are a great team.
"They made plays, we didn't," Durant said, via ESPN. "They were disciplined, we weren't. We want to be a great team. We're fooling ourselves."
"If we just want to be a great team, the way we're playing, we're fooling ourselves. We want to win a bunch of games in the regular season, that's cool, but we're fooling ourselves with the way we're playing."
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Following the loss to a Chris Paul-inspired Clippers side, the Thunder have lost five of their seven games since the All-Star break. That's not exactly the kind of form that inspires confidence or shows signs of a team that has legitimate NBA title aspirations, especially when the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs are in such good form.
Despite also blowing leads in losses to the Warriors and Indiana Pacers, Durant still seemed confident that OKC could turn things around.
"We lost a few games, lost some tough ones," Durant said. "But at the end of the day, we're playing basketball, something we love to do every single day. When you look at it like that, it's not as tough as you think."
"But losing does suck. And we hate losing. But at the end of the day, we're still in a good spot. We've just got to climb out of where we're at right now."
On the night, Durant was Oklahoma City's best player and did as much as he possibly could for the team, leading them in scoring with 30 and securing the joint-most rebounds with 11, tied with Serge Ibaka.
However, his three-point shot wasn't falling with any sort of conviction as Durant made just 3-of-12 from beyond the arc, dragging his efficiency down massively.
Russell Westbrook did his best by chipping in with 24 points and 12 assists, but it wasn't enough as the Clippers pulled out the win, overturning a 22-point second-half deficit.
The Thunder currently sit third in the Western Conference, 13 games behind the Warriors and trailing San Antonio by 9.5. But, right now, at least, they should be looking below themselves - not above - with the Clippers and even the Grizzlies looking to come and take their spot.