It was a very familiar feeling in the air as time winded down in overtime as the Oklahoma City Thunder hosted the Golden State Warriors in their second meeting of the season. We all remember when Andre Iguodala hit a game-winning jumper to beat the Thunder a few weeks ago. That shot came after Russell Westbrook had just hit a go-ahead three-point shot to put OKC up one point. Even though it was a new game, that loss had to be in the mind of every Thunder player.
The game tonight had the same feel of the one before; as it was high scoring and full of action. Westbrook started the game hot after having one of the worst nights of his career just a few days ago against the San Antonio Spurs. After going 5-for-5 to start the game, he would struggle as the Thunder lost a lead they had maintained for most of the first half. Then there came the second-half of basketball. Westbrook would get the Thunder rolling, doing everything in his power to make sure his team had a chance to win the game.
Westbrook put up 11 points in the third quarter, bringing his total to 25 points. Still, the Thunder still found themselves down six points going into the fourth quarter. From there, Kevin Durant would catch fire, bringing his team back and eventually sending the game into overtime with the teams tied 104-104. Westbrook would score the first points in OT from the free-throw line. The teams would then trade blows back and forth. OKC found themselves in familiar territory — down 110-112 with 19 seconds left in the game.
At that point, everyone watching were biting their nails in nervousness and praying that the Thunder would find some way to win this game — remaining undefeated at home. Missed shots by Durant and Serge Ibaka would make their chances of winning seem extremely bleak, but there was still a chance as the ball bounced off the rim and into the hands of Thabo Sefolosha –who’d save the ball from going out of bounds as the time on the clock fell below five seconds. The save landed in the hands of no one other than Westbrook. He would then rise for a desperation heave from beyond the three-point arc.
You could almost hear a pin drop as the shot spun around in mid-air. To everyone’s surprise – the ball found the inside of the basket — giving OKC a one point-lead with .01 seconds left on the clock. Loud City erupted, but the memory of their last game with the Warriors reminded them that it’s not over until that clock has completely expired. Iguodala, who’d hit the game winner in the previous game was out tonight and no one else was able to make anything happen. The Thunder would walk away loud and proud to have successfully defended their undefeated record in the Chesapeake Energy Arena — all thanks to the heroics displayed by Westbrook.