Thunder All-Star guard Russell Westbrook hit a last-second three-pointer to defeat the Warriors 113-112 in overtime on Friday night.
What a frantic, magical finish to a back-and-forth game.
With nine seconds remaining in overtime and Golden State up 112-110, Thabo Sefolosha inbounded the ball from the baseline. The pass went to Kevin Durant, who slipped a pass to Serge Ibaka when two Warriors closed fast on him. Ibaka put up a mid-range jumper which was long, and Westbrook soared in from the weak side to deflect the rebound back towards the baseline. Sefolosha then gave chase and saved possession by grabbing the ball with both hands and throwing it blindly over his head back towards the court. Westbrook gave chase across the court and came down with the ball before immediately retreating to the left corner as Harrison Barnes followed him.
Using one dribble to create space, Westbrook spun into a turnaround jumper over his right shoulder, launching a three with less than three seconds remaining. The shots swished through cleanly with 0.1 seconds remaining on the clock, giving Oklahoma City a 113-112 lead. The Warriors were unable to score on the other end and the Thunder escaped with the victory.
"I'm not going [to try] to tie the game," Westbrook said, according to DailyThunder.com. "There's no need to tie the game."
Westbrook's winner provided a measure of revenge for the Thunder, who lost to the Warriors two weeks ago when Andre Iguodala hit a buzzer-beating game-winner. In that game, Westbrook had nailed a three-pointer to give Oklahoma City the lead just seconds before Iguodala's jumper.
The Oklahoman reported Thunder coach Scott Brooks' postgame reaction to Westbrook's shot, which brought the Chesapeake Energy Arena crowd to its feet.
“These are the reasons why we're all in this. For moments that last forever,” Brooks said. “This was one of those games and one of those shots I'm sure Russell will; he doesn't even have to exaggerate it like I've done with my family and my kids … He doesn't have to exaggerate it. There's no bigger fish story than what he just did tonight.”
Here's a floor angle video of Westbrook's game-winner, which helps highlight how he was seemingly everywhere at once.
Westbrook finished with a game-high 34 points (on 10-for-25 shooting), seven assists and five steals. Durant added 25 points (on 7-for-22 shooting), 13 rebounds and five assists.
Stephen Curry had 32 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in a losing effort.
Oklahoma City improved to 11-3 with the win; Golden State dropped to 9-8 with the loss.
Top video via YouTube user frank den
Bottom video via YouTube user Brandon Stowe | Hat tip: @RoyceYoung