OKC Fights Back But Falls In Overtime In Denver

Sunday, January 20th 2013, 11:09 pm
By: News 9

Sunday night was a rocky one for the Oklahoma City Thunder in more than one way.

Firstly, it was a game littered with questionable calls, turnovers and a rough shooting outing for Kevin Durant.

Secondly, it was actually Rocky – as in Denver's beloved mascot – that played a role in the Thunder's fourth-quarter comeback that eventually fell short in a 121-118 overtime defeat.

With the Thunder trailing 107-96 in the fourth, Russell Westbrook blocked the mascot's halfcourt shot and was booed heavily by the Denver crowd. Then just moments later, Westbrook did it again.

The crowd blasted OKC's dynamic point guard and, in typical Westbrook fashion, it poured fuel on his fire.

Westbrook immediately converted on an athletic drive to the basket and followed it up with a pair of free throws on the ensuing possession for the first four points in a 10-0 Thunder run to cut the 11-point deficit to one with 1:25 remaining.

After two Danilo Gallinari free throws, Westbrook completed the comeback with a deep, contested 3-pointer to tie the game with 22 seconds left and force overtime.

But the Thunder didn't have enough left in the tank in OT as 2-of-6 shooting and three questionable offensive fouls in the period resulted in the Thunder's first loss in seven games, as a pair of last-ditch 3-point shots failed to find their mark as time expired.

Westbrook was the star of this contest even in defeat. The fifth-year guard was in triple-double territory with 36 points, nine assists and eight rebounds on the night. Westbrook not only spearheaded Oklahoma City's late comeback, he also helped keep OKC in the game early with 19 first-half points after KD went just 1-of-7 in the opening half.

Durant came back with a strong second half to lead the team in scoring with 37 points but did it on just 7-of-20 shooting. KD made his biggest scoring impact from the line, converting 20-of-21 free throw opportunities.

Kevin Martin scored 18 off the bench and Serge Ibaka added 16 for Oklahoma City.

Denver was led by Corey Brewer's 26 points off the bench, 15 of which came in the fourth quarter as the Nuggets built an 11-point lead.

The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for the Thunder and marked just the second loss of the season when OKC scores more than 100 points. It was also a missed opportunity for a second-consecutive overtime victory after the Thunder beat Dallas 117-114 in extra time on Friday.

A few big factors in this defeat went far beyond the scoring slumps and poor officiating. OKC was dominated on the board, getting outrebounded 50-39. Oklahoma City also allowed 20 offensive rebounds. Also, the Thunder's turnover woes returned as OKC gave the ball away on 23 occasions.

Oklahoma City will play the third game in its six-game Western Conference road trip on Tuesday when it faces the Los Angeles Clippers in the Staples Center at 9:30 p.m.