Stars Shine In Dramatic Thunder Loss
By Randy Renner
Russell Westbrook had yet another fabulous game, Kevin Durant seemed a bit tired at the end but he had a big time game too. Tyreke Evans had a triple-double for New Orleans, but when it comes to big games and big shots no one had any bigger than Anthony Davis.
The Pelicans All-Star forward dropped in a game winning 3-pointer after double clutching in the middle of a Thunder double team.
That shot, which splashed into the net just as the horn sounded gave Davis 41 points and also gave the Pelicans a thrilling 116-113 win in a game that seemed destined for overtime.
Westbrook had just drained three straight free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt.
Russ finished the night with a career-high 48 points while also handing out 11 assists and nine rebounds. In the last three games he's registered a triple-double, scored a career-high tying 45 points then set a new career-high with the 48 on Friday. It's the first time in his career Westbrook has scored at least 40 points in consecuive games.
Durant finished with 27 points but he missed two potential game-winning shots in the closing seconds, a 3-pointer and then when he grabbed his own rebound he missed the follow shot.
"I'm not gonna make any excuses," he said after the game. "I should have made that shot."
Durant seemed tired coming down the stretch, he had missed four of the last five games with a sprained big toe but he said he was fine.
"I felt good, we just gotta keep our heads up and keep fighting."
The Thunder had trouble controlling the Pelicans all night. On Wednesday they held the big birds to less than 40 percent shooting, but Friday night New Orleans hit 48.2 percent of their shots and they were bombing away from beyond the arc, hitting 11 of their 20 threes.
Tyreke Evans didn't do much Wednesday but he did on Friday with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 16 assists.
He also missed two critical free throws to give the Thunder life at the other end and when Westbrook was fouled on a 3-pointer that would have tied the game he went to the stripe and calmly hit all of his foul shots.
That appeared to set the stage for overtime but instead it put the spotlight on Davis who hit the miracle winner at the buzzer.
Sometimes you just have to tip your cap at the other guy and move on down the road and that's exactly what the Thunder will do on their way to another big game Sunday afternoon when Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and the LA Clippers come to town.