OKC entered their contest with the Philadelphia 76ers having won the last 18 meetings.
And just like the last couple of weeks, which have been full of Thunder struggles, saw the same start we’ve seen. OKC jumps out to an early lead. The Thunder built an early 16 point lead which included a 9-0 run.
Dennis Schroder was one of the reasons OKC built that impressive lead at one stretch hitting 11 straight points for the Thunder. Schroder finished with 21 points.
In the second half the Thunder kept a solid lead entering the fourth. They were up by 13, but Philly would make a serious charge in the fourth dropping 36 points.
Joel Emiid hit a dunk to pull Philly within six. Embiid finished with 31. Shortly after that Russell Westbrook hauled in a pass off a turnover and Embiid landed on Westbrook. Westbrook contested that Embiid pushed him on the way down. There was a slight skirmish, but the two broke it up. Westbrook would foul out and did so with 21 points and ten boards. When asked after the game if he and Embiid are good, Westbrook replied, “(explitive) no.”
Terrance Ferguson continued playing with confidence hitting a three to put the Thunder up four late. Ferguson had 11. But with OKC and Philly tied up with under a minute to play, Dennis Schroder got trapped in the back court, threw a lob, and it was picked off by Jimmy Butler. Butler hit a layup giving the 76ers a two point lead with just over ten seconds to play. Butler had 18.
On the other end, Paul George made a massive play. Coming off a screen George drained a three and was fouled by Butler. He would hit the free throw and OKC had a 117-115 lead. George had 31 points.
OKC’s defense would hold and force a shot by Butler at the buzzer which was well defended and OKC pulled out a much needed 117-115 win. The win gives the Thunder their 19th straight over Philadelphia which is the longest win streak by one team over another in NBA history. Next up for OKC, the Thunder play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden at 11:30 am on Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.