Russell Westbrook swished a go-ahead jumper with seven seconds left in the game to lift the Thunder to a 92-91 win over the Mavericks inside the American Airlines Center.
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Westbrook notched his 37th triple-double of the season in the win with 37 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, but his scoring stretch in the final minutes of the game was jaw-dropping.
Russ overcomes not having much help to post MVP performance including winning basket in game #Thunder had no business winning. Wow. @news9— Dean Blevins (@DeanBlevins) March 28, 2017
Russ overcomes not having much help to post MVP performance including winning basket in game #Thunder had no business winning. Wow. @news9
Yogi Ferrell put the Mavericks up 88-74 with five minutes left in the game, but Westbrook wasn’t going to let his team drop back-to-back games. Westbrook quickly drained jumpers on two consecutive possessions, threw down a one-handed slam, converted an and-1 from the post then banked in another jumper to bring the Thunder within one point.
Westbrook then had an opportunity to put OKC up with on a shot with 19 seconds left, but missed long before the Mavs corralled the rebound and called a timeout. It looked as if the Thunder would have to foul in order to get the ball back, but Westbrook was having none of that.
As Devin Harris attempted to inbound the ball to J.J. Barea, Westbrook got a hand on the ball and deflected the pass off Barea and out of bounds to give OKC the ball back with 13.1 seconds left. With the game on the line, Westbrook dribbled into his signature jumper from the free throw line and swished the biggest shot of the night as the Thunder closed the game on a 14-0 run.
37 points13 rebounds10 assists1 game-winner #BrodieSZN pic.twitter.com/p1G9nNW8FQ— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 28, 2017
37 points13 rebounds10 assists1 game-winner #BrodieSZN pic.twitter.com/p1G9nNW8FQ
It was an epic ending for OKC, but things didn’t start out so great for the Thunder.
With Westbrook on the bench to open the second quarter, everything began to fall apart for OKC. The Thunder failed to tally a point in the first 6:11 of the quarter as Dallas used a 10-0 run to get up double digits. Even with Westbrook back on the floor, things didn’t get much better for the Thunder throughout the rest of the quarter as OKC only scored a season-low 10 points in the frame and trailed by 15 at half.
The Thunder looked to flip the script by opening the third quarter on a 20-6 run to claw within one point of the Mavs, but just like the first half, OKC went dry from the field. Dallas quickly responded with a 10-0 run and led by 12 points after the third and led by as many as 14 in the fourth before Westbrook took over down the stretch.
Victor Oladipo finished with 15 points and nine rebounds while Taj Gibson added 13 points and six boards.
Wesley Matthews and Nerlens Noel led Dallas with 15 points each while Ferrell scored 11 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter.
The Thunder will continue its road trip in Orlando on Wednesday when it takes on the Magic.