It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over
Incredible things happened in OKC Friday night as the Oklahoma City Thunder (9-12) pulled off a miracle against the Minnesota Timberwolves (10-11). Despite leading by 10 with 5:13 to go in the game, OKC was staring a 2-point deficit in the face with 33.8 seconds to go.
Despite multiple chances to tie the game, the Thunder was forced to foul with 3.9 seconds to go down 121-119. Jordan Bell missed both free throws for the Timberwolves, but Minnesota corralled the rebound, and the game appeared to be done for sure, but Chris Paul managed to foul Karl Anthony-Towns with 1.1 seconds left on the clock.
Towns hit his first free throw, and then a delay of game technical was called on the Timberwolves. Danilo Gallinari knocked down the technical free throw to make it 121-120. Towns hit his second free throw to put Minnesota up 122-120, and what happened next was nothing short of magical.
Steven Adams grabbed the ball out of the net, stepped to his spot for the inbounds pass, and he let it fly in a Heisman-like fashion. The pass fell perfectly into Dennis Schröder’s hands, who was able to lay it in as time expired to force overtime.
Oklahoma City completely dominated overtime by outscoring Minnesota 17-5 to win the game 139-127.
SGA Owned OT
The final play of regulation stole the show in tonight’s game, but Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s performance in overtime is what sealed the deal.
Shai finished the game with a career-high 29 points on 8-of-13 (61.%) from the field and 12-of-12 (100.0%) from the free throw line. Of the Thunder’s 17 points in overtime, SGA scored 11 of them.
OKC hasn’t really had a true closer this season, but considering he’s the future of the organization, Shai is really the best option. While he’s had plenty of great moments so far this season, he hasn’t really had a signature game where he closed out well. That all changed tonight.
Don’t You Dare Count This Team Out
Tonight was yet another fine example of how this Thunder team absolutely refuses to quit. Whether you’re pro-tank or anti-tank, there is no doubt in my mind that OKC can hang around with anyone in this league.
Double-digit deficits don’t matter to this team, and while we as OKC fans would prefer if they would not get down by that many points, it’s pretty clear that the Thunder will never say never and keep on fighting to the very end.
In a season where OKC has not had very many “quality” wins—6 of them have come against the Pelicans and the Warriors, the Western Conference’s 2 worst teams—this is the type of game that keeps fans excited about the future.
Sunset Sunday in Portland
Next up for the Thunder is an evening matchup on Sunset Sunday in Portland against the Trail Blazers (9-13). Despite the rough start to the year for the Blazers, Portland is 2-0 against OKC so far this season. Last time the Thunder was in Portland just a little over a week ago, the Blazers embarrassed the Thunder for one of the worst losses of the season. Perhaps OKC can get revenge this time.
Tip-off for that game is at 8 PM, and it be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma. It will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
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