Thunder forward Kevin Durant hit a game-winning three-pointer with 1.7 seconds left in double overtime to defeat the Raptors 119-118 in Toronto on Friday.
The shot capped a wild game full of disputed calls and pushed Durant over the 50-point mark for the second time this season. The five-time All-Star finished with 51 points (on 15-for-32 shooting), 12 rebounds and seven assists in 52 minutes against the Raptors. He had seven points in the decisive double overtime period.
"We couldn’t go another overtime," Durant told reporters afterwards. "I had to live with whatever happened. You had to get out of there. I wasn’t trying to go to another overtime. I pulled up for it, it looked good when it left my hands and God guided that thing to the basket, man. That was the craziest game I’ve ever been a part of."
The game-deciding shot came after Oklahoma City inbounded from the left sideline with less than nine seconds remaining and the Raptors leading 118-116. Derek Fisher inbounded to Jeremy Lamb, who quickly passed to Durant as he came back toward the ball outside the three-point arc. Toronto forward Amir Johnson deflected the pass, though, forcing Durant to go back near midcourt to retrieve the ball and initiate his final approach.
As the clock ticked down under five seconds, Durant dribbled to his left, creating a little space to set up a deep three-pointer. The 31-footer swished home with less than two seconds remaining, silencing the Air Canada Centre crowd and drawing a happy headlock from teammate Serge Ibaka.
A potential game-winning jumper from DeMar DeRozan at the other end was no good at the buzzer and Oklahoma City held on for the victory.
The NBA's scoring leader became the first player in the last five seasons to score at least 50 points twice in the same season. Back in January, Durant hit for a career-high 54 points against the Warriors. The last players to crack 50 points twice in the same year? Cleveland's LeBron James and Miami's Dwyane Wade, who each scored 50-plus points three times during the 2008-09 season.
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As evidenced by his ridiculous stat line, this was a do-it-all type of night for Durant, who started the Thunder's 9-0 closing run in the final 46 seconds of the second overtime with a three-pointer.
"Everybody counted us out," Durant told reporters. "We stuck with it. Guys hit some huge shots. ... Two guys fouled out, [Russell Westbrook] was out [with a knee injury], back-to-back, if you want to add everything to it. That was the craziest game."
The last player to match Durant's stat line of 51 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists was Bulls legend Michael Jordan, who tallied 54 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists in a loss to the Lakers on Nov. 20, 1992.
"He does it the right way," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said, according to the Toronto Sun. "How he responds every night. He's a flat out winner. He made so many great passes tonight. That's the sign of a true champion, making his teammates better."
Earlier this month, The Point Forward selected Durant as the league's MVP through three quarters of the 2013-14 season.
Oklahoma City improved to 51-18 with their third straight victory, although they lost Westbrook, their All-Star point guard, to a knee sprain in the third quarter. Toronto dropped to 38-30 with the loss.
Hat Tip: @StackMack