Oklahoma City was as cool as the other side of the pillow in Los Angeles on Monday. Not in a good way.
The Thunder shot a woeful 4 of 17 from downtown, but Kevin Durant’s heroics bailed ‘em out in a 100-99 thriller at Staples.
Durant buried a long jumper with 5.8 seconds remaining to put the Thunder up one, then blocked Chris Paul’s game-winning shot attempt as time expired to seal the victory. Oklahoma City (19-9) never led by more than two, but who cares?
Durant’s dagger came one play after potential disaster. OKC, up one and inbounding with 11 seconds left, coughed it up. Dion Waiters’ pass went right through the hands of Russell Westbrook and bounced right to Paul for an easy layup with 10 seconds remaining. But Durant, who scored 24 points to go with nine rebounds and seven assists, wasn’t leaving the building with a loss.
Westbrook kept OKC in the game with a number of midrange jumpers. Russ led the Thunder with 33 points and seven assists. Serge Ibaka had a quiet but efficient night with 17 points on 8 of 13 shooting to go with eight boards.
Paul carried the load for LA with 32 points and 10 assists. Blake Griffin suffered an uncharacteristically bad shooting night, making just 7 or 21 from the floor for only 15 points. J.J. Redick added 15 points while Lance Stephenson scored 10, just his fourth double-digit scoring performance of the year.
OKC will stay in town for a date with the Lakers on Wednesday. The Thunder destroyed LA 118-78 on Saturday at Chesapeake Arena. It will be the final contest before the Thunder hosts the Bulls on Christmas Day.