It always takes a grind it out performance to win one on the road, and that’s exactly what the Thunder had to do on Friday night as they stole the Magic out of Orlando with a 139-136 double-overtime win.
Oklahoma City struggled to defend Orlando throughout the first three quarters, and the Thunder trailed by 15 points with 9:09 left in the game.
Then slowly but surely, the Thunder started to get stops and were chipping away at the lead. With 1:55 left in the game the Thunder had cut its deficit in half, and a Russell Westbrook and-1 layup cut the Magic lead to only four points.
With 16.2 seconds left, Orlando’s Aaron Gordon knocked down both of his free throws to give the Magic a three point lead, but Kid Clutch made his first appearance of the season on the next Thunder possession. Kevin Durant took the inbound pass and tied the game with his signature fall back three pointer with 13.5 seconds on the clock.
Orlando had a response up its sleeve, as Victor Oladipo put on a dribbling performance on the right side of the key and nailed a clutch three point shot over Andre Roberson to put his team up by three. It appeared to be the icing on the cake since the Thunder had no more timeouts to advance the ball. Luckily for the Thunder, they have the best point guard in the league.
Westbrook lowered his head and sprinted down the hardwood. The Thunder guard was nothing but a blur, but he pulled up for a deep shot just inside half court that banked off the backboard and rattled in to send the game into overtime.
The Thunder was still alive.
Westbrook continued his tremendous play in overtime, scoring seven points within the first minute and a half. The point guard appeared to ice the game with 7.8 seconds left in OT with a jumper that gave the Thunder a 126-123 lead, but Oladipo still had another clutch shot left in him. The third year pro caught the ball in the final seconds and threw up a three pointer in the left corner that sent the game into a second overtime.
In the second overtime, the Thunder got the lead early, and was able to hold off the pesky magic to improve to 2-0 on the season.
Westbrook had a phenomenal night all around, scoring 48 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to go with his eight assists. Durant scored 43 points of his own while totaling 12 rebounds.
D.J. Augustin had a great night off the bench for OKC, scoring 12 points while providing a spark in the fourth quarter that helped the Thunder send the game into overtime.
The Thunder will be back in action on Sunday when they host the Nuggets at 6 p.m.The