Many consider the Dec. 1 contest between the Thunder and New Jersey Nets as perhaps the NBA game of the season.
The Thunder had a record of 12-6 at the time and the Nets were the exact opposite at 6-12, but this game held four weeks ago would finish dead-even three times before the Thunder survived with a 123-120 triple-overtime victory at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
There were 19 lead changes, 13 ties, 61 fouls and 73 free throws. The contest took three hours, 21 minutes.
â€œWe lost that game six times,â€ Thunder coach Scott Brooks recalled, â€œbut we won it seven.â€
The teams meet again Wednesday at 7 p.m. inside Oklahoma City Arena, and this time each will have one of its stars back.
Thunder small forward Kevin Durant and Nets point guard Devin Harris were both out with a bum knee during the last meeting.
â€œI had fun cheering my teammates on, but it'll be much more fun playing (Wednesday),â€ said Durant, the league's leading scorer (28.1).
Asked which sequence he remembered most from the last meeting, Durant chose Russell Westbrook's cross-over move at the top of the key that he converted into a conventional three-point play. â€œThat was probably the best part of the game for me, the most exciting part,â€ Durant said.
Westbrook initially couldn't pick a favorite sequence. â€œThere was a lot going on that game,â€ Westbrook said.
When told Durant's selection, Westbrook smiled and said, â€œYeah, that might have been the turning point for me.â€
Westbrook had one of the most prolific overtime periods in NBA history, scoring all 13 of his team's points in the final five-minute extra period while adding two rebounds and one steal. He finished with 38 points, 15 rebounds, nine assists (none in OT) and three steals.
Westbrook's follow when he dunked a teammate's miss and screamed while hanging on the rim has been one of this season's most frequently shown highlights. â€œThey replay it all the time,â€ Thunder forward Jeff Green said. â€œI can't get it out of my head.â€
Green had a head-turning performance himself and finished with a career-high 37 points, with 25 coming after halftime. He had five three-point plays, going 4 for 5 on 3-pointers and converting a three-shot foul in the second overtime to tie the score with 4.6 seconds left.
â€œGood rhythm,â€ Green explained of his shooting display. â€œIt's fun when you get into that type of zone. We won, and that's the best part. We didn't have a good game offensively. We just battled and eventually it came around.â€
Though the Thunder shot just 42.6 percent from the field, it took care of the ball and did not commit a single turnover in any of the three overtimes.
â€œIt was a great game,â€ Brooks said. â€œWe were lucky to come away with a win.â€
For the players, adrenalin took over and the game became somewhat of a blur.
â€œYou're never exhausted during a game like,â€ Westbrook said. â€œIt's tied up, it's OT, you're on the road, everybody's against you. It's kind of a moment you live for. You're not trying to figure out if you're tired.â€
Asked if he had a chance during the game to enjoy the moment, Green shook his head. â€œWe've got so many games in a year,â€ Green said. â€œYou can look back on it when it's all done.â€
THUNDER VS. NETS
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Oklahoma City Arena.
TV: FS Oklahoma (Cox 37, HD Ch. 722)
Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM.
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
* New Jersey is 3-13 on the road this season.
* The Nets have lost 11 of their past 14 games.
* The Thunder is 9-1 after a loss.
Pos., Player, Ht., Pts., Reb., Ast
G, Russell Westbrook, 6-3, 22.4, 4.8, 8.1
G, Thabo Sefolosha, 6-7, 6.1, 5.2, 1.6
F, Kevin Durant, 6-9, 28.1, 6.6, 3.1
F, Jeff Green, 6-9, 16.6, 6.1, 2.1
C, Nenad Krstic, 7-0, 7.7, 4.7, 0.4
G, Devin Harris, 6-3, 17.1, 2.7, 6.8
G, Stephen Graham, 6-6, 3.1, 1.4, 0.6
F, Travis Outlaw, 6-9, 10.4, 4.3, 1.0
F, Kris Humphries, 6-9, 8.0, 9.2, 0.9
C, Brook Lopez, 7-0, 19.3, 6.2, 1.2