EditorsNote: adds dropped word “the” in first graf
Paul George scored 31 points, including a go-ahead four-point play with 5.1 seconds left, to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 117-115 win over the 76ers on Saturday in Philadelphia.
George’s heroics came just moments after Jimmy Butler put the 76ers in front with a steal and a layup with 6.9 seconds remaining.
It was Oklahoma City’s 19th consecutive win over the 76ers. The Thunder have not lost to Philadelphia in more than a decade.
George first took control during a two-minute stretch beginning with 5:08 remaining, scoring eight consecutive points after Philadelphia had taken a 99-97 lead.
George hit a 3-pointer to put the Thunder back in front, slammed an alley-oop dunk on a feed from Russell Westbrook, and buried another triple to put OKC ahead 105-99.
Westbrook finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and six assists but fouled out with 14.9 seconds left when he fouled Embiid shooting a 3-pointer at the top of the key.
Embiid made the free throws to tie it up at 113-113, setting up Butler’s clutch play.
Dennis Schroder also scored 21 for the Thunder, who had lost five of their last six.
Embiid didn’t show effects of the back soreness that had limited him in Thursday’s win over Indiana, leading Philadelphia with 31 points. J.J. Redick added 22 and Ben Simmons had 20 points and 15 rebounds for the 76ers.
With less than two minutes remaining and Oklahoma City leading by two, 106-104, the Thunder turned a turnover into a fastbreak the other way.
As Westbrook barreled down the court, Embiid gave chase and anticipated Westbrook’s shot by going up for a block.
But Westbrook instead stayed on the floor and Embiid flipped over him, knocking Westbrook hard to the floor under the basket.
After remaining down for several moments, Westbrook got up and charged toward Embiid, though the situation quickly cooled.
Westbrook and Embiid have history, as Westbrook waved goodbye to Embiid following an Oklahoma City win last year after Embiid had waved goodbye to Steven Adams after Adams fouled out earlier in the game.
—Field Level Media