NEWARK, N.J. â€” The third time was still a charm for the Thunder without Kevin Durant. Playing the third game this season without its All-Star forward, the Thunder pushed its mark to 3-0 and had to go to triple-overtime to do it.
Pending All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook had 38 points, 15 rebounds, nine assists and three steals, and forward Jeff Green added a career-high 37 points as the Thunder outlasted the New Jersey Nets 123-120 on Wednesday night at the Prudential Center. The number three also proved to be a charm for Westbrook and Green during the game itself. Westbrook scored all 13 points the Thunder had in the third overtime, going 5 for 7 from the field and 3 for 3 from the line. He also led the Thunder in rebounds (two) and steals (one) in the last extra period. â€œI was struggling throughout the whole game,â€ Westbrook said. â€œI was missing easy shots, free throws. I honestly thought I wasn't playing well. I just tried to finish the game and get us a win.â€ Meanwhile, Green had five three-point plays, converting 4 of 5 from 3-point range and three free throws with 4.6 seconds left in the second overtime to force the third extra period. Green drew a three-shot foul on a 27-foot heave that nearly banked in â€” twice. â€œThey tried to foul before I got the shot up, but I was able to still go though his arms and get it up,â€ said Green, who finished 9 for 9 at the line. â€œIt's very tough (hitting three straight free throws) â€¦ I tried to keep my composure.â€ It was the first triple-overtime game in the careers of Westbrook and Green. â€œAnd I'm glad to be 1-0,â€ Westbrook said. Durant missed the game with a sprained left knee he suffered Monday night against New Orleans. He is listed as day-to-day. The Thunder plays at Toronto on Friday. â€œThat's the target date,â€ Durant said of his hopeful return. Wednesday's contest took three hours, 21 minutes to complete, had 19 lead changes and 13 ties. "That's a lot of basketball," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. How many times did Brooks think his team had it won, and how many times did he think his team had lost? â€œA lot, and a lot,â€ Brooks deadpanned. Thunder-Nets box score
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