The Thunder traveled to Philadelphia to take on the Sixers after a tough home loss to the Lakers. Despite a late comeback from Jimmy Butler and the Sixers’ offense, the Thunder was able to steal a 117-115 win courtesy of a clutch and-one three from Paul George.
PAUL GEORGE HITS THE GAME WINNER!— ESPN (@espn) January 19, 2019
Thunder take down the 76ers in a thriller! pic.twitter.com/M92J13tqJ7
OKC jumped out on top in the first quarter as Steven Adams made his presence felt in the post early on. His 8 points in the quarter contributed to OKC’s domination in the paint throughout the game. The Thunder went 7-10 from the floor in the first five minutes; meanwhile, Jimmy Butler couldn’t find his rhythm. The Thunder went up by as many as 12, but JJ Reddick hit a three and was fouled on another to bring the game within 8. Adams and Westbrook both ended the first with eight points and a 33-25 lead.
Philadelphia opened the second quarter with an 8-0 run. Landry Shamet banged home 3 consecutive three pointer’s to spark the run, which was answered by a 3 from Dennis Schröder. Schröder, who went on a tear of his own, scored 11 straight points for OKC. Meanwhile no other bench player for the Thunder had scored midway through the second. Wilson Chandler and Reddick both hit threes for Philadelphia at the end of the quarter to cut the OKC lead to 59-56 headed into halftime.
Russell Westbrook hit a three to open the second half after not scoring in the second quarter. Jimmy Butler completed an ally-oop to take a one point lead and bring the fans off their seats. OKC took advantage of the 76ers 19 turnovers in the game, which led to 28 points on the other end. Ferguson and George threes and a Westbrook and-one sparked a 16-4 run for the Thunder. Steven Adams had a monstrous slam to end the quarter which brought the momentum into the fourth. Thunder ended the third up 88-79.
Steven Adams grabbed an offensive rebound for a nice second chance bucket to open the fourth quarter. Dennis Schröder shifted his way down the lane to bring the lead back up to 11. Embiid helped spark a 12-3 run, topped off by a Reddick three, to tie the game. Westbrook took a hard foul after a fast break, which ended with Embiid landing on top of him. Russell was furious and recovered quickly to confront Embiid, but he quickly fled the scene and hit both free throws to put OKC up 108-104.
Jimmy Butler came down and hit a 3 to cut the deficit to one, but Terrance Ferguson hit one of his own to push the lead back to 4. After some scoring exchanges, Russell Westbrook fouled Joel Embiid on a 3-point shot with 14 seconds left. The foul was Westbrook’s sixth, and Embiid hit all 3 free throws to tie the game at 113-113. On the next possession, Schröder turned the ball over, and Jimmy Butler scored in transition to put the 76ers on top with just 7 seconds left.
After a Billy Donovan timeout, Paul George calmly and cooly hit a 3 while being fouled in the process. He hit the free throw to give the Thunder the 117-115 lead, and Jimmy Butler could not hit a shot at the buzzer for Philadelphia, giving OKC a clutch victory.
Game. Winner. pic.twitter.com/GffpJZRjBD— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) January 19, 2019
Thunder Player of the Game
After an awfully quiet start in the first half, Paul George took over in the second and finished with 31 points and made all 11 of his free throw attempts. PG with the ball within the closing seconds is a thing of beauty and was shown at its finest in Philadelphia on Saturday. He added 3 steals and 6 rebounds in an MVP caliber performance.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Matchup
The Thunder will continue their road trip as they travel to New York for another matinee matchup against the Knicks. New York has lost their last five games and have won 1 of their last 10. The two teams will tip-off on Monday at 11:30AM CT on NBATV, and the game will be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
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