This one stung. It was a fantastic game from start to finish with explosive scoring and excellent play from the stars. And coming off a nice win New Year’s Eve against Golden State, a win against Denver would have meant two in a row, which meant winning streak, which was entirely unthinkable a month earlier. But Carmelo Anthony was having none of that.
We all know what happened. Oklahoma City trailed 119-117 with seconds left. Kevin Durant took an inbounds pass and nailed a 3 with 2.7 seconds remaining. 120-119. Commence insanity. Ball in to ‘Melo. Dagger. Buzzer, 122-121. Commence weeping. It all happened so fast I felt like I had to just say, “Wait, we lost? But what about Durant’s 3? Didn’t that mean we won?”
What not to be lost in the great finish is that the Thunder held a seven-point lead going into the fourth quarter and really squandered a lot of chances to close the game. But OKC did shoot almost 59 percent from the floor, which is definitely impressive. KD had 33 and Damien Wilkins had 16 points, entirely shocking the world. The loss stung, but it stung worse when ‘Melo did the same thing again just a few weeks later. But ultimately, even in defeat the loss showed that this group was renewed in 2009 and was no longer the 4-29 rag-tag bunch that embarrassed themselves for three months prior. Which was something positive to take from it. Especially since that night, I was definitely searching for something.