Stoicly staring defeat in the eye, the Oklahoma City Thunder roared back to prevail in an overtime session against Denver, 132-129.
Russell Westbrook (36-18-12) authored his sixth triple-double of the season as Victor Oladipo (26), Joffrey Lauvergne (15), and Domantas Sabonis (13), joined the multifaceted artist in double-figure scoring.
Meanwhile, a stunned Nugget iteration was led by Wilson Chandler’s 30-point outburst. Teammates Jameer Nelson (21), Jamal Murray (20), and Emmanuel Mudiay (17) each proffered substantial showings throughout a thoroughly contested home loss.
Playing at high altitude, Oklahoma City clung to competitive wind with a balanced first quarter performance. Victor Oladipo started hot, scoring nine to lead all Thunder. Denver’s bench attack paced a strong effort as starters Wilson Chandler (6) and Jameer Nelson (6) aided the cause with six points apiece. The visiting Thunder carried a slim one-point advantage into the second stanza.
Throughout the second period of play, each squad crafted mini-runs in hopes of creating space from the other. Ultimately, though, Denver's lively legs would propel the mile-high home team to a 63-62 halftime lead.
At intermission, Victor Oladipo (16) and Joffrey Lauvergne (13) kept Oklahoma City afloat as Russell Westbrook (1-of-7 shooting, 5 turnovers) was hampered by Denver's irksome guards. Overall, the Thunder shot a respectable 5-of-13 from deep. However, Denver dominated the glass +6, as Emmanuel Mudiay (14) and Chandler (11) offered strong opening-half efforts.
In the heart of the third, Oklahoma City wrested a tenuous 77-76 lead from the unsteady Nuggets before a decisive 13-7 run placed Denver back ahead 89-84 to enter the final period of play.
As the fourth period began to percolate, Denver constructed a stout 114-103 advantage before an intrepid Thunder unit stirred to life. With a chance to seize victory inside regulation, Russell Westbrook’s last-second jaunt to the rim was stonewalled by the outstretched hand of Kenneth Faried.
During overtime, each team refused to relent, yet eventually Westbrook’s individual efforts separated from the pack, as he carried his Thunder to a thrilling 132-129 victory.
A desperately needed win here by the Thunder. It's not necessarily a good one, or an encouraging one, but certainly a needed one.— Royce Young (@royceyoung) November 26, 2016
Oklahoma City (9-8) is back above .500 following a trying 3-7 stretch. Meanwhile, Denver falls to (6-10).
The Thunder’s reserve will be tested tonight, as Billy Donovan’s bunch takes on Detroit for a fourth contest in five days.