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Durant, Thunder rally past Wizards to win in overtime
John Wall missed a driving layup attempt at the buzzer for Washington, which was seeking its third straight win.
Serge Ibaka had 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder, which overcame a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit for the first time since the franchise moved to Oklahoma City.
“That was definitely a resilient win,” coach Scott Brooks said. “It was that never-quit mentality that we’ve always believed in and that’s what happened tonight. We just battled and battled and battled and gave ourselves a chance to win down the stretch.”
Washington led for most of the second half. The Wizards were up 83-71 after a dunk by Martell Webster with 8:03 left in the fourth quarter and 92-82 with 3:26 left. But they scored only two baskets in the final three minutes, allowing Oklahoma City back in the game.
Oklahoma City, using a small lineup, closed regulation on a 14-4 run. Durant capped the burst with a straightaway 3-pointer with 13.6 seconds left.
“That last three minutes was some of the best basketball I’ve seen out of us since I’ve been here,” Durant said. “I’m very proud of how we played at the end of the game. We have to do better, but that’s a good stepping stone for us.”
The teams traded the lead in overtime. The Wizards led 105-102 after a driving layup by Marcin Gortat with 1:20 left. After Ibaka scored to cut Washington’s lead to one point, Durant blocked a shot by Wall and streaked toward the other end before being fouled. He made both free throws for a 106-105 lead with 40.7 seconds left.
Webster missed a 3-point attempt and Reggie Jackson rebounded for the Thunder. Jackson eventually drove the lane and passed to Jeremy Lamb, who missed a 3-point attempt from the corner with 4 seconds left, giving the Wizards a final chance.
The Wizards hurt themselves by going 13 of 26 at the free throw line.
“We played extremely well,” Washington coach Randy Wittman said. “I give Oklahoma City credit for coming back. They made shots. All we needed to do in the last couple minutes of regulation was make one shot and a couple of free throws and then the game would be over with. Making that run, our guys played their tails off tonight and came up short.”
By Andrew P. Napolitano
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