It didn’t seem too likely that the Thunder would beat the Jazz four times this year, but at no point did they concede: down 13 with four minutes left, OKC tied it up at 129 on a Jeff Green trey at 0:08. And with five seconds left in the overtime, once again Uncle Jeff delivered, putting the Thunder up 139-138. But ultimately, this was Deron Williams’ night: he got the game-winner at 0.011 over a double-team! to finish with 42 points, a new career high, and though Kevin Durant apparently got hatcheted on the last shot of the game, no foul was called, and the Jazz escaped, 140-139.
It’s not like they didn’t have to work for it for 53 minutes. Utah relied almost entirely on its starters; the bench contributed only 20 points, 15 of them from Paul Millsap, who fouled out. Power-packing Carlos Boozer had 28 points and 15 boards and one technical, for getting overly cocky. And then there was Williams, who also served up 10 assists and turned the ball over only once. A team like this oughta be in the playoffs.
Then again, Williams wasn’t even the highest scorer on the premises, and guess who was? Yep. Kevin Durant had 17 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 45. Russell Westbrook picked up 27; Green’s timely buckets brought him to 20. Rebounds were even at 43; the Jazz shot 52 percent, the Thunder 50, and treys were everywhere. (The Jazz got 12 of 21; the Thunder, 13 of 30.) Seventy-eight foul shots were taken; 66 were hit.
I shudder at the thought of playing a best-of-seven against these guys, but it could happen.
Tomorrow: at home, against the Nuggets. Life doesn’t get any simpler, guys. Meanwhile, the Thunder Girls face the Mavs Dancers in the Dance Bracket for the rest of the night. They, too, could use a last-minute run.