Despite both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook having 30-point games, it wasn’t enough to lead Oklahoma City to victory: the Thunder narrowly lost 121-118 to the Denver Nuggets in overtime on Sunday night, after besting them last Wednesday. With the Nugget getting this win, they effectively snapped OKC’s six-game winning streak.
Sunday night’s game loss was especially tough and emotionally draining for Oklahoma City head coach Scott Brooks, whose mother, Lee (79) died on Saturday.
The Thunder were coming off a previous overtime thriller on Friday, where Durant’s 52-point effort carried them over the Mavericks. This loss comes as the first one in five overtime games this season.
The Nuggets took a 101-90 lead after Ty Lawson scored on a putback with nearly seven minutes left in the game. But the Thunder pushed back and made it 103-96 after Durant drained a three with 4:17 on the clock. Andre Miller responded with a layup and Corey Brewer knocked down a pair of free throws to further cushion Denver’s lead, and with three minutes left, it looked as if they would pull this one out.
But OKC had other plans. They surged back with a 10-0 run, capped by successive three-pointers by Durant and Kevin Martin. Their efforts brought the score to 107-106 Denver with a minute to go. Danilo Gallinari made a pair of free throws to end OKC’s run, but Westbrook responded by putting up a clutch triple and making it. With 22 seconds left, Ty Lawson failed to get a shot off before the buzzer, and the game went into overtime.
For Denver, Brewer led the effort with 26 points–15 of which came in the fourth quarter–and six rebounds, while Durant and Westbrook had 37 and 36 points, respectively.
But it was Kenneth Faried who stole the show, as he laid in the go-ahead bucket in overtime to give the Nuggets the win. He ended the night with a double-double, 16 points and 10 boards.
In losing, OKC’s record is now 32-9, tying them with the Los Angeles Clippers for the best record in the NBA. As fate would have it, these two teams will clash on Jan. 22 at the Staples Center to sit atop the league with the most wins.