With 15 seconds left, it looked like the Thunder were basically a defensive rebound away from sealing a tough win at home over the always difficult Suns. Then Vince Carter hit a pretty much insane 3.
With 1:25 seconds left in overtime, it looked like the Thunder were basically sunk, as Carter drilled another impossible trey, putting Phoenix up two. The Thunder clawed back with a James Harden and-1 dunk and then a Russell Westbrook free throw had Oklahoma City up two with 17 seconds remaining. And Carter had another chance to break the Thunder’s hearts.
A, ahem, questionable call on Thabo Sefolosha gave Carter three free throws with the Suns down 118-116. Carter swishes the first, but missed the next two. Westbrook knocked down a pair of free throws and after a failed Steve Nash chuck, Kevin Durant iced away a wild, crazy 122-118 win for the Thunder.
What’s kind of great about this victory is that the Thunder scored 122 points, shot 49 percent from the field and won despite KD going just 3-14 from the floor. That’s not going to happen often. Why the Thunder got away with it this time was because of huge efforts from Harden (tied his career-high with 26 on just 12 shots) and Westbrook (32 points, 11 assists). It’s becoming pretty obvious that Harden is sort of OKC’s x-factor player. He’s scored in double-figures in eight consecutive games and during that stretch is averaging 17.5 points per game. OKC envisioned Harden being that third scorer to give the Thunder a boost when Durant has a game like this one. Without Harden, OKC loses this game, and it’s probably not close. Keep Reading…