There was an incredible finish in Oklahoma City on Friday between the Thunder and the Pelicans, two teams trying desperately to sneak into the postseason in the crowded Western Conference.
It went down like this.
The Thunder trailed by one with 17 seconds remaining, and had possession. The ball went to Kevin Durant, who missed a long, step-back two over Anthony Davis. New Orleans secured the rebound, but Tyreke Evans turned it over in an attempt at a long outlet pass. Durant came up with the steal and drove the lane, but missed again, this time right at the rim.
Davis came up with the rebound, and was intentionally fouled with a couple of seconds left. He hit both free throws to push the lead to three, and now it was the Thunder’s chance to try to tie things up.
The ball went to Russell Westbrook at the top of the three-point arc, and he fired and missed. But Quincy Pondexter ran right through him as he was in the air, and the referees correctly blew the whistle, awarding Westbrook three free throws.
Westbrook made all three, and with 1.2 seconds remaining, the Pelicans would have one last chance to avoid the overtime session.
Davis finished with 41 points and 10 rebounds. Westbrook finished with 48 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists.
Both players are MVP candidates, yet neither of their respective teams would be in the playoffs if the season ended today.
With this incredible victory, however, the Pelicans now find themselves just a half-game out.
There’s a mural in L.A. of Alex Caruso dunking over Harden, Leonard, Doncic
It’s hard to overstate how popular Alex Caruso is in Los Angeles. Seriously. This isn’t just cult status popular, when he enters the game off the bench Staples Center explodes in cheers like LeBron James just fed Anthony Davis for an alley-oop.
This is legit, it’s on the side of SportieLA, a clothing/apparel store on Melrose Ave. in the trendy heart of Los Angeles. Artist Gustavo Zermeño Jr. has done murals in the past for LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and other Los Angeles sports icons such as Vin Scully.
This one plays off a huge Caruso dunk from earlier this month when Dallas’ Maxi Kleber was the victim.
It’s good to be Alex Caruso in Los Angeles right now.
Kawhi Leonard just destroyed Boston’s Daniel Theis on dunk
After the game, Leonard was asked about the dunk and he responded in about the most Kawhi way possible.
Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard goes full monotone to describe blow-by-blow his poster dunk on Daniel Theis and game-sealing block: “What do you want me to say? Patrick threw me the ball, I took two dribbles into the paint and tried to jump high and dunk the basketball.” pic.twitter.com/tKkwC7REmZ
DALLAS (AP) —Luka Doncic scored 33 of his 35 points in the first half and had yet another triple-double to help the Dallas Mavericks rout the short-handed Golden State Warriors 142-94 on Wednesday night.
Doncic fell a point short of matching Dirk Nowitzki’s team record set Nov. 3, 2009, against Utah. In just 17 minutes, Doncic was 10 for 11 from the floor, making 6 of 7 3-pointers, and hit 7 of 8 free throws.
The second-year star from Slovenia had 22 points, five assists and five rebounds in the first quarter alone. He played only 25 minutes total, but still managed 10 rebounds and 11 assists.
Doncic was coming off a 40-point triple-double Monday night against San Antonio, and has an NBA-best seven triple-doubles in 14 games this season.
The Mavericks never trailed and tied a franchise record with 22 3-pointers while sending Golden State to its worst loss since a 1973 playoff game.
The Warriors, who ended a seven-game losing streak by beating Memphis on Tuesday night, are an NBA-worst 3-13. Their five-year run of at the top of the NBA has collapsed under a weight of injuries, with Draymond Green out Wednesday because of right heel soreness.
With Green out, Golden State dressed only eight players, none of whom suited up for the team last season when it made the NBA Finals for the fifth consecutive year.