Triple overtime in New Jersey, and I’ve got to figure that Russell Westbrook got sick of the whole thing: in the third extra period, Westbrook outscored the Nets, 13-10, to put away a game in which the Thunder trailed more often than not. Between them, the two teams put up 194 shots, and if only 86 of them fell well, that’s still a hell of a lot of scoring: Oklahoma City 123, New Jersey 120, with no fewer than nineteen lead changes.
We should have known. Westbrook sank two free throws with next to no time left in regulation; Anthony Morrow, in next to no time, came back with a trey at the buzzer to tie it. Weirder yet, near the end of the second OT, with the Thunder down three, Jeff Green missed a trey, the only one he missed out of five tonight; but he drew a foul, and he swished all three free throws. At this point Uncle Jeff had 37 points, a number he’s never seen before it became the Russell Westbrook Show.
That Durant guy? No show. Bad left knee. Same problem afflicted the Nets’ Devin Harris. Does losing your leading scorer intensify your effort? Ask Scott Brooks or Avery Johnson.
Westbrook wound up with 38, plus 15 rebounds and nine assists, missing the triple-double by a dime. Add Green’s 37, and you have 75. Then again, you combine Brook Lopez (28), Jordan Farmar (28, a career high), and Morrow (25), and you’re looking at 81. Both teams played 11 men out of a possible 12, and rather a lot of them logged over 50 minutes. (Thabo Sefolosha worked the longest: 55:25.)
Overall, this is one hell of a way to start a road trip. Next stop: Toronto, on Friday.