Although his Oklahoma City Thunder trailed throughout, as seconds remained, following a series of probing crossover dribbles, Russell Westbrook coolly glided above Wesley Matthews’ out-stretched hand to deflate the Dallas Mavericks 92-91.
On this rollercoaster night, Westbrook’s poise overrode 45 minutes of faulty execution from Oklahoma City.
In total, OKC’s MVP finished with 37 points, 13 rebounds, and ten assists to assemble triple-double #37 of his season. However, nothing mattered more than the decisive 14-0 game-closing rally punctuated by Westbrook.
Trailing 91-78 with 3:31 remaining, the 6’3 guard exploded for 12 unanswered points to solidify his franchise’s eighth-consecutive winning season.
In stark contrast to Oklahoma City’s near one-man show, Dallas felt victory slip away amid a balanced offensive-effort —including eight players to score at least 8 points. Wesley Matthews and Nerlens Noel added 15 each.
Overall, Dallas’ bench outscored the under-performing OKC reserve-unit, 30-17. Rick Carlisle’s defense also forced the Thunder into 17 turnovers, and 43/26 FG/3P shooting.
Though in the end, a superstar’s touch was all Oklahoma City required to prevail 2-1 in its season-series vs. Dallas.
Thunder starters Victor Oladipo (15) and Taj Gibson (13) joined Westbrook in double-figure scoring.
With the win, Oklahoma City improves to 42-31, and moves one game behind the #5 seeded Los Angeles Clippers.
Meanwhile, Dallas (31-42) is running out of opportunities to gain ground on #8 Portland (35-38).
The reinvigorated Thunder look to close a three-game road trip with emphasis Wed vs. Orlando.