In one of the best games of this regular season the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Washington Wizards 105-103 in overtime with Russell Westbrook scoring the game winning layup, joining Kevin Durant in carrying this team without a lot of help from anyone else.
Westbrook, scoring 32 points, scored the layup that tied the game at 92 and sent it into overtime. The two teams kept trading the lead until a big 3-pointer from Kevin Durant gave the Thunder a 103-101 lead, which the Wizards countered with a layup from Nene. It was rejected, but called for goaltending. On the next possession, Westbrook got the ball off the inbound pass and was so quick the Wizards defense wasn’t able to set before he ran to the hole and scored, leaving just 0.8 seconds on the clock to win the game. Steven Adams should have been called for an illegal screen, fouling Paul Pierce to clear a path.
Westbrook and Durant scored the 13 points for the Thunder in overtime. With Durant scoring 34 points, it was the 31st time the Thunder’s duo each had 30 points in the same game. For example, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen had only 16 such games during their career. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade had 14 of them for a more modern comparison. The Thunder are 21-10 when the two of them reach 30 points.
It wasn’t just about offense. Westbrook can be one of the best defensive guards in the league when he feels like it. He guarded John Wall some of the time, holding him to only 1-of-6 from the field, He also forced two turnovers off of him, and contested all four of his jump shot attempts. Wall scored 18 points to go with 13 assists and 4 steals, but shot just 6-of-17 from the field. Nene led the Wizards with 24 points.
Durant playing in Washington is always a special event. Not just because of the home town ties, but because many expect him to join the team in 2016 when he can hit free agency. Durant, like most smart players, isn’t promising anything to anyone. Why not leave all your options open? For now, it doesn’t matter – all he’s focused on is making up for lost time from earlier this season, and in the Macro win a championship with the Thunder. Dreaming about a hometown return can wait.