Thunder Lose in Overtime to Nuggets
The Oklahoma City Thunder shot just 56 percent from the free throw line and lost to the Denver Nuggets 126-125 in overtime on Friday night at Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City.
OKC fell behind by as many as 15 points in the third quarter, before rallying with a 20-5 run to take the lead, then it came down to the final seconds in both regulation and overtime.
In regulation, Russell Westbrook got a slam dunk with 25 seconds left to give the Thunder a 113-110 lead.
Denver’s Paul Millsap got a layup to make it 113-112, then after Paul George made one of two free throws, Will Barton tied the game at 114 with a spinning layup around Steven Adams.
The Thunder had a final chance to win it in regulation, but Westbrook missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer and the game went to overtime.
In OT, the lead changed hands several times.
With Denver up one and under a minute to play, Westbrook lost the ball out of bounds on the baseline.
After a Nuggets miss, Westbrook missed a layup that could have given OKC the lead.
The Thunder tied up the Nuggets and forced a jump ball with 15 seconds left.
OKC won the tip and Jerami Grant got the ball in the lane with a chance to to give the Thunder the lead, but his shot was blocked by Mason Plumlee.
Millsap was fouled with 5 seconds left and hit two three throws to make it 124-121.
Denver fouled George with 4 seconds left to keep the Thunder from trying to tie it with a 3-pointer.
George made one free throw, then intentionally missed the second one, but committed a violation by crossing the free throw line before the ball hit the rim.
Will Barton was fouled with 3 seconds left and hit two free throws to make it 126-122, then Alex Abrines hit a 3-pointer as the game ended to make it a one point margin.
The Thunder set a team record with 20 made 3-pointers, but shot just 42 percent overall from the field, while the Nuggets hit 52 percent.
Westbrook led OKC with 33 points, 13 rebounds and 9 assists, but after his dunk late in regulation was 0-for-4 from the field, with two missed 3-point attempts, a missed layup and a turnover.
Carmelo Anthony had 23 points and made 5 of OKC’s 20 three-pointers.
Three other Thunder players scored in double figures, with Jerami Grant scoring 16, George 13 and Corey Brewer 10.
Millsap had 36 points to lead Denver, which came into the night two games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
OKC drops to 44-33 on the season, and falls to the #6 spot in the West seedings.
The Thunder play at New Orleans on Sunday at 5:00 pm.