Oklahoma City fought off a frantic Rockets comeback on Saturday night for a 104-101 win. Here’s some rapid reaction:
Trailing by two in the final minute of a wild game, Kevin Durant’s tired arms (he played all but 45 seconds) flung up a contested 28-footer that ricocheted high in the air off back rim. The shot seemed destined to fall off for another second-half Thunder miss, but instead took a couple of fortuitous bounces before somehow falling through. It gave the Thunder a two-point lead they wouldn’t relinquish and had many on Twitter jokingly wondering if Russell Westbrook hadn’t willed it in, Wayans Brothers ’6th Man’ style (hopefully you’ve seen the movie).
It was over when…
…Reggie Jackson calmly sank two of the biggest free throws of his career moments later, putting OKC up three and forcing the Rockets to take a contested corner triple (which was defended greatly by Serge Ibaka) in the final seconds. Carlos Delfino’s shot went long and the Thunder led the series 3-0.
Star of the game – Kevin Durant
Can’t say enough about the performance of OKC’s megastar. He was dominant in the first half, dropping 27 points on 9/16 shooting and, despite fatigue issues and some errant shots in the second, willed his team to victory. How’s this for a line in his first game without Westbrook: 13/30 shooting, 41 points (ties a playoff career-high), 14 rebounds, four assists and only 45 seconds of rest.
Photo of the game
Omer Asik, welcome to your poster. (H/T Bleacher Report on the photo)
Here’s the video of that beautiful KD dunk.
It seems like a month ago now, but Kendrick Perkins set the tone early, setting a hard screen on Patrick Beverley and sending a message to the Rockets, his teammates and everyone in the building.
Stats of note
-The Rockets had 12 blocks in this game. They had three combined in the first two.
-OKC was 21/42 shooting in the first half and 12/45 in the second.
-Francisco Garcia had 18 points on four threes off the Rockets bench. He was incredible.
Tweet of the game
Game 4 in Houston on Monday night. Thunder going for the sweep.