Russell Westbrook's miraculous game-winner against Golden State did not just lift the Thunder to a thrilling victory Friday night or preserve the team's unblemished home record. It also could have created momentum going forward.
“Obviously it's a great play,” Westbrook said a day later of the magnitude of the shot. “If it's a winner, it gives us confidence going into the next game. It makes us feel good about ourselves, even though we made some mistakes throughout the game. But at the end of the night, we ended up winning, so it makes us feel good about it.”
Westbrook said Saturday that he had seen the replay only twice, once Friday night and once again prior to practice Saturday. Asked if the sequence felt like a blur or slow motion, Westbrook went with the former.
“Nothing's slow motion to me, to tell you the truth,” a laughing Westbrook said. “But that wasn't slow motion at all. It kind of happened real quickly. Just at the time during the game, you try to find a way to get yourself in position to score.”
Westbrook then likened the shot a dream come true.
“Everybody strives to be in those situations,” he said. “You kind of dream about it. As a kid, you kind of dribble up the court; 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and shoot it. But I think that particular moment was a little different.”
Westbrook, however, said he will continue to step aside when the team needs a last-second shot.
“We're going to keep going to Kevin (Durant) as long as he continues to make shots,” Westbrook said. “He's our No. 1 option.”
MEMORIES OF THE MASSACRE AT MINNESOTA
The Thunder concludes a six-game home stand Sunday against Minnesota, a team that manhandled Oklahoma City in the first meeting on Nov. 1.
The Wolves won, 100-81, handing the Thunder its most lopsided loss since a 23-point rout at Orlando on Feb. 25, 2011.
When asked what adjustments the Thunder needs to make after it fell to the Wolves the first time, guard Reggie Jackson had an issue with how the question was phrased.
“Fell to would not be the word,” he said. “They were like big brother. They just beat us up. Did whatever they wanted to do.”
Said coach Scott Brooks: “Very rarely does it ever happen where we really got our butts handed to us. I mean, we were down 34 at one time. … What they did to us last game, we learned from it, we've moved on from it. But we have to play much better than we did out there.”
Minnesota comes to town in a tailspin. The Wolves have lost seven of their last 10. They've allowed 108.4 points on average in those seven losses.
PERKINS SHOULD PLAY
Brooks said Saturday that center Kendrick Perkins, who dislocated his left ring finger late in the first half Friday, should be in the starting lineup Sunday against Minnesota.
“I think he's fine,” Brooks said. “He'll be fine (Sunday).”