Coming off of a performance in which Russell Westbrook lost the MVP (at least in the eyes of national media and fans) against James Harden, Russ seemed singularly focused on winning. He scored 12 points of a furious 14-0 run by Thunder, hitting the game-winning jumper with seven seconds remaining.
And yes, Russ notched his 37th career triple-double with 37 points, 13 points, and 10 assists. He needs just four more triple-doubles to match Oscar Robertson’s mark of 41 with nine games remaining.
Watch the game-winner below:
Prior to that shot, Westbrook had an opportunity to put the Thunder on the high side, but missed. After a timeout, the Mavs had difficulty getting the ball inbounds, and the tenacious Westbrook ended up with the ball with a littler over 13 seconds remaining.
Of course, if not for a poor performance through the better part of three quarters, the Thunder never would have needed a furious and miraculous comeback. Still, it qualifies as one of the best ever, as teams who have trailed by 13+ with under four minutes to play are 12-10,920 in the past 20 seasons.
Watch the full highlights below:
A ten point second quarter by the Thunder was certainly one of the lowlights of the season for the Thunder. In easily the worst period of the Thunder’s season, they shot just 3-of-15 and committed nine turnovers. Remember: the second game of a back to back (or SEGABABA, as I’ve grown to love calling them) can be treacherous terrain to cover.
Still, though, the Thunder own in advantage in just about every category over the Mavs — minus coaching — and should have taken care of business.
The Thunder came out of the half on a quick 20-6 run, but the Mavericks quickly squashed that with a run of their own. The lead was 10 going into the fourth quarter, and had swelled to 13 with 3:30 remaining. The game seemed all but lost before the 14-0 run and game-winner that would steal the victory out from beneath the Mavs’s feet.
The Thunder improve to 42-31, while the Mavs fall to 31-42. The Thunder play tomorrow evening in Orlando; tipoff is at 6 P.M.