There haven’t been many things more entertaining than the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors this season.
Two games. Two game-winners.
For the Thunder, in both games it was Russell Westbrook hitting the big shot. The first time these two teams met in Golden State this season, Westbrook drilled a 30-footer to give OKC a one-point lead, but left time on the clock setting up Andre Iguodala’s eventual game-winner.
Last night, no time was left for the Warriors to respond.
In overtime with under 10 seconds left, the Thunder have the ball and are down by two. The inbound comes to Kevin Durant who is immediately double-teamed. Durant makes the pocket pass to an open Serge Ibaka (likely the design for the Thunder anticipating Durant’s double). Ibaka, who has been money from midrange all season misses the 17-footer as the Warriors defense flies at him.
No one boxes out Westbrook, who is on the opposite wing. He flies in and keeps the rebound alive while Thabo Sefolosha ends up saving it from the baseline.
Westbrook is right there to receive the ball and he can’t get the ball to the kind of open Durant on the left wing as the clock is ticking down. Westbrook probably also looked up at the clock and saw such little time left and decided he couldn’t get it to KD.
Also, Russ was feeling it all night as he ended up with a game-high 34 points. He’s the kind of guy who wants to take that shot. He spins back toward the baseline away from Iguodala and lets it fly. For a right-handed shooter, spinning that way is the easiest way to get off that kind of shot. The rest is history. The shot was pure and the Thunder escape with a close one.
There is one lasting feeling after this game: these two teams need to play a seven-game series in the playoffs. That is all.
Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder