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OKC Thunder: Russell Westbrook making his mark as a rookie

By John Rohde Modified: January 3, 2009 at 1:16 am •  Published: January 3, 2009
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It took Carmelo Anthony a split second to beat the Thunder on Friday night.

He kept reporters waiting 25 minutes to tell how he did it.

Anthony is a notoriously slow post-game dresser, but his quick trigger finger gave Denver a stunning 122-120 victory.

The Ford Center crowd of 18,613 was nothing short of delirious after Thunder forward Kevin Durant buried a 25-foot, 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left to give the Thunder a 120-119 lead.

"Durant hit a tough shot,” Anthony said. "He hit two long ones on us last year. Same shot — probably a little deeper than the one tonight.”

The Nuggets’ final sequence was intended to go either to Anthony or perennial All-Star guard Chauncey Billups.

After the timeout, Anthony walked up to Kenyon Martin, who was inbounding the ball at halfcourt

Anthony: "I’m gonna get open.”

Martin: "You know they’re going to deny you the ball.”

Anthony: "I’m going to make sure I’m going to get open.”

Defended by Thunder wingman Desmond Mason, Anthony caught the ball deep in the left corner, roughly one foot from the sideline.

"I was trying to catch it closer to the basket because I knew I could get closer to the basket in 2.7 seconds,” Anthony said.

Mason held his ground.

"Desmond stood there and looked at me,” Anthony said. "I had a chance to look at his feet (and how they were positioned).

"I just shot it.”

The high-arcing bomb splashed through the basket cleanly.

And then silence as 0.1 of a second remained on the scoreboard clock.

"I felt I had a good shot once it came out (of my hand),” Anthony said.


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