EditorsNote: Misplaced period after vs, added possessive to George in headline; other adjustments made in story; subbed photo
Paul George hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds remaining and finished with a season-high 47 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied for a 114-112 road victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night. The Thunder overcame a 23-point deficit to notch their largest comeback in franchise history.
Russell Westbrook added 21 points, 17 assists and 15 rebounds in the win to give him 108 career triple-doubles, moving him past Jason Kidd for third place on the NBA’s all-time triple-doubles list.
George, who scored 25 points in the fourth quarter, recorded his ninth career 40-point game and fourth since joining the Thunder before last season. He finished two points shy of his career high, shooting 10 of 12 in the fourth when the Thunder outscored the Nets 39-19 and won for the 16th time in 19 games since opening the season 0-4.
Westbrook reached his 108th triple-double when the Thunder trailed by 17. He is 30 behind Magic Johnson for second place and 73 behind all-time leader Oscar Robertson’s 181.
Steven Adams added 15 points for Oklahoma City, while Dennis Schroder contributed 12 as the Thunder shot 43.4 percent overall and 61 percent (14 of 23) in the fourth.
Allen Crabbe led the Nets with 22 points, but was scoreless in the final 12 minutes as Brooklyn’s home losing streak and overall losing streak reached eight games.
Joe Harris added 19 points in the loss, while D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie scored 17 points apiece as the Nets lost for the fifth time when carrying a lead into the fourth quarter and blew their second-largest lead of the season. DeMarre Carroll finished with 12 points.
The Thunder trailed 99-80 with 8:53 remaining. George cut the lead to single digits at 105-97 at the 5:34 mark, and his layup with 1:43 left cut the deficit to 112-111.
George missed his next two shots, Brooklyn’s Russell missed two 3-pointers and Westbrook blew a layup with 28 seconds left.
After Oklahoma City called its last timeout with 8.1 seconds left, Schroder inbounded to Westbrook, who was covered by Crabbe. Westbrook passed it to George, who took one dribble and then hit a 3-pointer from the right wing near Brooklyn’s bench. It was from a similar spot as Philadelphia’s Jimmy Butler’s game-winner on Nov. 26.
On the next possession, Westbrook deflected Jared Dudley’s dribble out of bounds, leaving 0.1 seconds remaining. The game ended when Adams deflected Harris’ inbounds pass out of bounds.
Before the dramatic comeback, Westbrook was at 21 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists as Oklahoma City faced a 93-75 deficit entering the fourth. The Nets held their 23-point lead (88-65) with 4:21 left in the third on a basket by Dinwiddie.
—Field Level Media