SACRAMENTO, Calif. — For the second time in two weeks, Thunder forward Jeff Green supplied a last-second miracle.
This time, it only forced overtime.
This time, it wasn’t enough to produce a win.
Following Green’s unusual 3-point play at the end of regulation Sunday afternoon, some of the estimated 6,500 fans at ARCO Arena left early for Super Bowl parties. They missed the Kings’ 122-118 win that snapped an eight-game losing streak.
"The first three quarters was just an offensive show,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "In order to play winning basketball, we’ve got to play defense. We did not do that until the fourth quarter. It’s very upsetting. We’ll come back and focus on defense the next couple of days.”
Green’s buzzer-beater at Golden State 10 days earlier produced a dramatic win. This time, his last-second heroics weren’t enough.
Trailing 112-109 with 3.6 seconds left in regulation, Earl Watson won a jump ball on Sacramento’s end of the court. Following a timeout, the Kings fouled Green, knowing two free throws couldn’t tie the game.
Green executed perfectly. He drained the first free throw and intentionally missed the second. Green bolted into the lane for the rebound and tossed in a seven-foot basket with 1.0 left to tie it.
"The first one was a big make,” Brooks said. "If he misses that one, it’s almost impossible to tie the game. It’s not anything we diagram. Fortunately for us, the ball bounced our way.”
Green might have left the free-throw line a little early but got the desired result.
"It worked to perfection,” Green said.