Westbrook’s Game-Winner Holds Up. Thunder Get Revenge By Stealing The OT Victory.

Westbrook’s Game-Winner Holds Up. Thunder Get Revenge By Stealing The OT Victory.

Russell Westbrook’s shot, and the huge cluster of bodies scrambling before it went up, ended up being so big, NBA.com had no choice but to name it their play of the day.

NBA.com’s Play of the Day for 11/29/13

Here’s a view of NBA.com’s Play of the Day from a courtside perspective:

I think all of the hoopla at the end of that video perfectly captured the atmosphere in Chesapeake Energy Arena following that beautiful 3-ball. Although Thabo Sefolosha deserves some credit himself for making a beautiful recovery that made Westbrook’s shot possible in the first place.

Thabo Selfolosha: The man who's rebound set up the game-winner.

Thabo Selfolosha: The man who’s rebound set up the game-winner.

Last night marked the second meeting of the season between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors, and this meeting was just as dramatic and “edge-of-your-seat” as their first encounter.

Russell Westbrook led all scorers last night with 34 points.

Russell Westbrook led all scorers last night with 34 points.

The Thunder opened the game with a 6-0 run, but a lot of back-and-forth saw the Thunder’s lead extend to a max of 7 (30-23) with an even 1:00 on the clock. The Warriors, however, managed to cut the lead to 4 (32-28) to end the 1st quarter.

Kevin Durant ended his night with 25 points and 13 rebounds.

Kevin Durant ended his night with 25 points and 13 rebounds.

In the 2nd quarter, the Thunder set the cruise control. I understand that it’s impossible to go all-out every second of the game, but the Thunder may have had cruise control set for too long in the 2nd. Because even though the Thunder had reclaimed their 7-point lead (52-45) with 1:16 to go in the first half, the Warriors actually outscored the Thunder by 1 to end the 2nd period. This allowed the Warriors to rest on a mere 3-point deficit (54-51) heading into halftime.

Serge Ibaka (seen here with Westbrook) posted 18 points and 13 rebounds of his own.

Serge Ibaka (seen here with Westbrook) posted 18 points and 13 rebounds of his own.

Unlike the Spurs game back on Wednesday night, the Thunder came out of halftime looking flat. The Warriors even started a 25-14 run at the 9:07 mark of the 3rd quarter that extended their lead to 9 (80-71) with 1:39 to go in the period. The Warriors had even outscored the Thunder by 9 in the 3rd to take a 6-point lead (82-76) going into the 4th quarter.

Harrison Barnes goes against Westbrook. Barnes dropped 26 points for the evening.

Harrison Barnes goes against Westbrook. Barnes dropped 26 points for the evening.

Of course, anyone who watches Thunder games on a regular basis knows just how hard it is to get the Thunder to lie down and accept defeat. The 6-point lead that the Warrior’s took into the 4th would not be built upon at all. Not only that, but the Thunder opened the 4th on a 7-0 run that had stolen the lead back from the Warriors (83-82). The 4th quarter was a back-and-forth struggle that saw 6 lead changes and 7 ties. However, things were not lookng good at the 3:45 mark, when an 11-6 run by the Warriors had extended their lead to 5 (99-94). The Thunder managed to hang tough, however. A 6-1 run of their own tied the game at 100 with 2:19 to play. The last 2:19 was evenly contested, and the score was knotted up at 104 apiece when the clock expired at the end of regulation. With OT on the horizon, fans at “The ‘Peake” had realized the the second chapter of the Thunder-Warriors saga would be every bit as enthralling as the first.

KD and Jeremy Lamb play to the OKC crowd.

KD and Jeremy Lamb play to the OKC crowd.

And not to disappoint, OT turned out to have every bit of that nail-biting suspense I was expecting.

Air Durant skys again.

Air Durant skys again.

The back and forth that began OT was slightly disrupted when the Thunder went on a 4-0 run to claim a 110-106 lead halfway through the OT period. Much like the Thunder, however, the Warriors had no plans of rolling over and playing dead. They responded with a 6-0 run of their own to claim a 2-point advantage with a mere 45.1 seconds remaining. After some slight back-and-forth defense, NBA.com’s Play of the Day was set in motion.

Durant attempts to float one over the Warrior defense.

Durant attempts to float one over the Warrior defense.

Kevin Durant’s floating jump shot missed with 11.9 left on the clock, but the Thunder responded with a team rebound. A subsequent jump shot by Serge Ibaka bricked as well, and the ball was headed out of bounds when Sefolosha made the biggest save of the game. His rebound and dish to Westbrook resulted in the 3-point dagger with one-tenth of a second remaining.

Sefolosha congratulates Westbrook after Wesbrook buries the dagger on the Warriors.

Sefolosha congratulates Westbrook after Westbrook buries the dagger on the Warriors.

This time, Westbrook didn’t leave the Warriors enough time to steal the win back, as it usually requires a bare minimum of three-tenths of a second to catch and shoot. All the Warriors could try was a last-second tip-in, which didn’t even come close. In the end, Westbrook’s 3-pointer was the Thunder’s dish of revenge, served to the Warriors ice-cold.

Ibaka displays an enthusiastic congratulations of his own for Westbrook.

Ibaka displays an enthusiastic congratulations of his own for Westbrook.

Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka once again put up some impressive double-doubles. (Durant: 25 points, 13 rebounds. Ibaka: 18 points, 13 rebounds.) And although Westbrook failed to post a double-double, his 34 points led all scorers on the floor for both sides.

Westbrook puts on his best Jordan immitation.

Westbrook puts on his best Jordan immitation.

Leave it to Stephen Curry to post insane numbers for the Warriors. His double-double (32 points, 11 rebounds) helped keep the game close. David Lee managed to respond with a double-double of his own (10 points, 12 rebounds), and the rest of the starting lineup for the Warriors managed double-digit points as well (Harrison Barnes dropped 26, Klay Thompson drained 16, and Andrew Bogut posted 14.).

Stephen Curry battles Westbrook, Sefolosha, and Kendrick Perkins for the loose ball. Curry finished with 32 points and 11 rebounds.

Stephen Curry battles Westbrook, Sefolosha, and Kendrick Perkins for the loose ball. Curry finished with 32 points and 11 rebounds.

The Thunder move to 11-3 on the year with last night’s victory, as the Warriors fell to 9-8. The Thunder get to rest today before hosting the Minnesota Timberwolves, who currently sit at 8-9, tomorrow night. Revenge is once again on the agenda, as the last meeting in Minneapolis resulted in a 100-81 loss that still stands as the worst one the Thunder have been forced to stomach all year. Although, to be fair, this was the last game Westbrook had to miss because of his knee. I’m sure the Timberwolves realize they’re not going to have near as easy a go of it this time around. The game will emanate from Chesapeake Energy Arena at 6pm CST, and will be brought to you via Fox Sports Oklahoma, WWLS The Sports Animal, and NBA League Pass.

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Thunder Snap Spurs 11-Game Win Streak, Win 7th Straight At “The ‘Peake”, and 5th Straight Overall.

Thunder Snap Spurs 11-Game Win Streak, Win 7th Straight At “The ‘Peake”, and 5th Straight Overall.

Let’s face facts. The Spurs always guarantee a tough match-up. Gregg Popovich simply knows how to prepare against any team, regardless of talent level.

Kevin Durant posts 24 points and 13 rebounds in last night's victory over the Spurs.

Kevin Durant posts 24 points and 13 rebounds in last night’s victory over the Spurs.

It’s not that the Thunder weren’t enjoying a nice streak of their own. They were in the midst of a 6-game home winning streak, after all. The problem facing them last night was the fact that they were putting that streak up against an even more impressive one. Namely the unreal 11-game Spurs winning streak that extended back to November 2nd, when the Portland Trail Blazers handed them their only loss of the season.

Kevin Durant attempts to take advantage of the mismatch against Tony Parker.

Kevin Durant attempts to take advantage of the mismatch against Tony Parker.

The Thunder didn’t start too bad. The Spurs, however, hung well with the young Thunder squad. Tied at 12 with 4:32 remaining in the opening quarter, the Spurs went on a 9-2 run to extend their lead to seven (20-14) with 2:09 to go in the 1st. The Thunder, showing their resilience early, closed the quarter out well. The Spurs only enjoyed a 21-19 advantage heading into the 2nd.

Serge Ibaka ended his night with 17 points and 11 boards.

Serge Ibaka ended his night with 17 points and 11 boards.

The second quarter was a lot of back-and-forth, featuring 4 ties and 4 lead changes total. Both teams only enjoyed maximum leads of 5 apiece. The Spurs were able to outscore the Thunder for the second straight quarter however, extending their lead to 3 (46-43) to close the first half.

Serge Ibaka doing what he does best.

Serge Ibaka doing what he does best.

I’m usually pretty critical of Scott Brooks as a head coach myself. I just find him to be the type of guy who isn’t really all that savvy when it comes to the Xs and Os of basketball. It’s becoming quite obvious that he is one hell of a motivator, however. I’m not sure what he said to his squad at halftime last night, but they responded with one amazing 3rd quarter performance.¬†Down 52-51 at the 8:08 mark, the Thunder sparked a 17-7 run to extend their lead to 9 with 33.9 seconds to play in the 3rd, which allowed them the opportunity to hold onto a 68-61 lead going into the 4th quarter.

Reggie Jackson poured in an impressive 23 points off of the bench.

Reggie Jackson poured in an impressive 23 points off of the bench.

The Spurs tried everything they could in the 4th quarter, but the Thunder had already established too much momentum to be stopped, even swelling the lead to 11 with 8:46 to play. While the Spurs were able to outscore the Thunder in the 4th, it was only by 1 point as the Thunder claimed a 94-88 victory.

Reggie Jackson attempts to shoot with Tony Parker's hand in his face.

Reggie Jackson attempts to shoot with Tony Parker’s hand in his face.

The victory improves the Thunder’s record to 10-3 on the season. This win marked their 7th straight victory at Chesapeake Energy Arena, and their 5th straight victory overall. This win also helped the Thunder snap an 11-game Spurs winning streak. This loss hardly hurts the Spurs however, who are currently 13-2, despite the setback.

Jeremy Lamb dropped 12 from the bench.

Jeremy Lamb dropped 12 from the bench.

Kevin Durant put up a nice 24-point, 13-rebound, double-double performance that led all players on both teams in both categories. Serge Ibaka put up a nice double-double of his own with 17 points and 11 boards. Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb came up big, scoring a combined 35 from the bench (Jackson scored 23, Lamb dropped 12).

Jeremy Lamb battles Manu Ginobili for the loose ball.

Jeremy Lamb battles Manu Ginobili for the loose ball.

The Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard posted the only double-double on the Spurs side (14 points, 10 rebounds). Although Tony Parker was able to contribute 16 points, Tim Duncan was held to a mere 11 for the game. The only significant contributions from the Spurs bench were Manu Ginobili’s 12 points and Boris Diaw’s 10.

Kawhi Leonard put up the Spurs lone double-double, but it just wasn't enough to best Durant and the Thunder, who claimed a 94-88 victory.

Kawhi Leonard put up the Spurs lone double-double, but it just wasn’t enough to best Durant and the Thunder, who claimed a 94-88 victory.

This was a nice win for the Thunder, but now they turn their focus toward vengeance. Namely the focus is on avenging the almost-comeback that was swiped away by Andre Iguodala’s last-second 16-footer at ORACLE Arena a mere two weeks ago. That was the last time the Thunder tasted defeat, so you know they’re itching to get their win back. The Thunder will host the 9-7 Golden State Warriors this Friday at 7pm. The game will come to you from Chesapeake Energy Arena, and will be broadcast via Fox Sports Oklahoma, WWLS The Sports Animal, and NBA TV.