There have been many meltdowns in Thunder history and some of the biggest ones were by the Thunder.
We all know of the Warriors meltdown in 2016. Oklahoma City led by as many as 13, but felt like 23. Klay Thompson went bananas and the Thunder were forced into a Game 6.
In many ways, last night was the opposite of that. Oklahoma City made the comeback and all seemed right. It was almost the monkey off the Thunder’s back.
Here are all of the greatest comebacks and collapses in the playoffs by 15 or more with the Thunder (because of the 15-point mark, the Warriors loss was not added).
2017 first round, Game 2: Houston (15)
April 19, 2017
This collapse is one of those that’s not really a collapse but fits within the arbitrary parameters we’ve chosen. Oklahoma City went up 28-13 on the Rockets with 3:23 left in the first quarter. The Thunder held their own in double digits for a good portion of the game. The Thunder held a 12-point lead late into the third but the bench fell through and Houston had the lead less than four minutes into the fourth and the rest is history.
2012 NBA Finals, Game 4 – Miami (17)
June 19, 2012
This, like the previous meltdown, happened in the first quarter. This is the second real playoff meltdown. This one unfortunately came in the NBA Finals. Oklahoma City jumped up 27-12 with 2:28 on a Nick Collison bucket. Oklahoma City led 33-16 with about 20 seconds to go in the first but Miami went on a 15-0 run to pull within 33-32 with 8:30 left in the second. Oklahoma City was able to hold off the Heat until middle of the third. However, Miami took the lead and would never trail again.
2013 second round, Game 4 – Grizzlies (17)
OT – May 13, 2013
A Russell Westbrook-less Thunder team, trailed 2-1 in a Memphis showdown. They took a 43-26 lead mid-second quarter and it appeared the Thunder were on their way. However, the Grizzlies’ comeback was on the back on a 23-9 run. It wasn’t until the end of the third quarter that we saw Memphis come back and finally take the lead. No one led by more than three in the final 10 minutes of regulation, with the leads going back and forth. Oklahoma City never led in overtime.
2014 second round, Game 4 – Clippers (22)
May 11, 2014
This is the largest blown playoff lead in Thunder history. A 22-point loss to the Chris Paul and the LA Clippers. This was the first in three straight games with double-digit blown leads. Luckily, Oklahoma City was on the winning side on the other two. If you told me though, Oklahoma City was going to take a 29-7 lead in the playoffs, I would’ve guaranteed a Thunder victory. That wasn’t the case this night. Oklahoma City’s 16-point lead in the fourth quarter was evaporated
2011 Western Conference Finals, Game 4 – Dallas (15)
OT – May 23, 2011
This one… this one is one of the more painful. Kevin Durant hit a jumper and Oklahoma City went up by 15 with 5:06 left in the fourth quarter. It seemed Oklahoma City was going to equalize the series. Oklahoma City went 1-of-9 down the stretch, letting Dallas outscore the Thunder 17-2 to force overtime. Durant missed a 30-footer to force overtime. I still have nightmares of this game.
2014 second round, Game 5 – Clippers (15)
May 13, 2014
Remember this photo? Yeah, from that game. Westbrook draining three free throws with 6.4 seconds left while Durant cannot stomach to watch them go through the net. Oklahoma City overcame a 15-point deficit, which was the patented first quarter deficit. What made this game so special was the Thunder’s ability to overcome a 101-94 deficit with 49 seconds remaining. Durant hit a three. Clippers missed a jumper. Westbrook stole a pass from Chris Paul. Then, Paul fouled Westbrook from three, hit hit all three with 6.4 seconds left to win the game. LA never got a shot off due to fantastic Thunder defense.
2014 second round, Game 6 – Clippers (16)
May 15, 2014
Durant was once a vital member of this team and showed out, scoring 39 points and pulling down 16 rebounds. LA grabbed a 16-point lead a couple of times in the first half with 7:28 left in the first half. The Thunder came back with a 13-2 run, pulling within five. Though, LA held a 7-point lead with 2:53 left in the third. Oklahoma City with the combination of Durant and Westbrook, fueled Oklahoma City’s comeback. A 13-4 that bled into the fourth quarter gave Oklahoma City lead for good. Oklahoma City pushed their lead to as many as 11 in the final minutes of the fourth.
2012 Western Conference Finals, Game 6 – Spurs (18)
June 6, 2012
Westbrook and Durant combined for 33 second half points as Oklahoma City overcame an 18-point deficit. San Antonio led throughout the first half by double digits. San Antonio led by double digits for half of the game. Oklahoma City, powered by their two all-stars fueled a comeback and a march onto their first ever NBA Finals. San Antonio had no answer for either players shots. It was a nice change of pace with how the series started, the Thunder falling back 2-0.
2011 second round, Game 4 – Memphis (18)
3OT – May 9, 2011
One of the greatest games in Thunder history. Oklahoma City overcame an 18-point deficit and avoided a 3-1 series hole. Memphis took an 18-point lead in the second quarter, OJ Mayo (!!) put them up by 18. The thunder had pulled with four by halftime. Oklahoma City took their first lead in the second half but Mike Conley hit a big three, sending the game into the first overtime. Oklahoma City blew multiple seven-point leads. In the first overtime, it was Greivis Vasquez who naield a three to tie it up. Durant bricked a chance on a game winner, sending it to a second overtime. Westbrook tied the game up with 30 seconds to go but both teams combined for four misses, sending it to a third overtime. That’s where Oklahoma City took over. Durant hit a jumper with 30 seconds left to put Oklahoma City up by eight. Dequan Cook sank free throws to give OKC a 10-point victory.
2018 first round, Game 5 – Utah (25)
April 25, 2018
You saw it. It was tied for the largest second half comeback in NBA playoff history. It was the fourth largest comeback in NBA playoff history. Oklahoma City only had one turnover once they started their comeback, having to be nearly perfect to get the victory and live to fight another day.
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