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Russell Westbrook.

Russell Westbrook accepts responsbility for the Thunder's slump: "It starts with me"

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The Oklahoma City Thunder are in the midst of a horrible slump and are failing to live up to their early season expectations.

After acquiring All-Star duo Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to partner Russell Westbrook, many people were quick to make them the biggest threat to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference.

A terrific win over the defending champions at home last week was expected to be the turning point for OKC but they have failed to win since and are now on a three-game losing streak.

They have already had some low points in the campaign so far with a number of bad losses but it may be time to hit the panic fairly soon after their recent results.

Their latest defeat came at the hands of the Orlando Magic who entered the game having lost nine straight games.

A 121-108 victory saw them end that skid and it dropped the Thunder to 8-12.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Sacramento Kings

MVP Westbrook had a huge game by posting 37 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and five steals but his reaction to the defeat spoke volumes.

After the game, he slumped to the bench and looked extremely dejected, which is a rare occurrence for him.

As the leader of the team, he faced reporters after the setback and took the responsibility for their failings.

"It just started with a sense of urgency, man and that starts with me," Westbrook told reporters following OKC's fifth loss in six games.

"It's my responsibility to make sure we're ready to play, we're ready to play on both sides of the ball. To get us out of this funk, we've gotta lock in.

"I take ownership of everything that's going on because I've been here and those standards that we set here in Oklahoma City, I have to set them and set examples. It starts with me and we're gonna turn this thing around."

New York Knicks v Oklahoma City Thunder

Integrating three ball-dominant stars together on the same team isn't easy and the franchise has been afforded a level of patience to work things out.

But there are hugely worrying signs that suggest some of their problems may persist throughout the year.

Anthony says the team is angry and not frustrated by their current slide and believes it's not a true reflection of who they are.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Sacramento Kings

"It pisses us off, it makes us angry when we're not getting the results that we want," he said, per ESPN's Royce Young. "We're putting in the work but we're not getting the results, and I think that's where the anger comes in at. We're angry that we're losing and we've got to stop that."

Their next opportunity to end this losing run will come on Friday night at home to the Minnesota Timberwolves who beat them at the Chesapeake Energy Arena earlier in the campaign with a controversial buzzer-beater from Andrew Wiggins.

Topics:
NBA
Northwest Division
Western Conference
Paul George
Indiana Pacers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Oklahoma City Thunder
Russell Westbrook

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