I am exhausted, and not because it’s almost 1am. That 154-147 double OT thriller between the Spurs and Thunder very well may have been the game of the year so far. At least it’s in the conversation. As someone with no rooting interest in this game I didn’t really want it to end. The quality of basketball and individual performances we saw in this game were incredible. Even more impressive is the fact that the Spurs played the night before against Memphis, so the fact that they even had the legs to hang with OKC through this much basketball is pretty crazy. On a night where everyone seemed to have a career high, few had better nights than LaMarcus Aldridge, who carried the Spurs with 56/9/4 and some absolutely huge buckets down the stretch. He had that combination of finishes at the rim and his jumper working all night and every time the Spurs needed a basket he seemed to come through.
Don’t let that overshadow the work put in by Derrick White, who had dagger basket after dagger basket late in the fourth quarter
a huge block in the second OT, and ended the night with 21/4/8 on 10-17 shooting. Hell even the bench was solid and that tends to happen when you put up 154. DeRozan had a chance to win it with a great look at the end of the fourth and came up just short,
but you have to be impressed with the resilience this team showed to keep that same sort of intensity for both overtime periods. For crying out loud this team finished with 56/84% splits, that’s insane!
Then there was the OKC side. My word this may have been the best game of Russell Westbrook’s career. It’s not just the line which is utterly ridiculous, it was the fact that he seemed to make the right decision every single time down the floor when the pressure was highest. He was unselfish, put his teammates in great spots, and even in what was one of the biggest moments of the game, a situation where you 100% think he takes the shot, he passed! I thought his decision making in this game was incredible and to be honest he’s shown a ton of progress in that department this year.
I almost couldn’t believe my eyes. Just like with LMA, it was a night of career highs for multiple Thunder players, whether it was Westbrook with his 24 assists, or Jerami Grant’s career high of 24 points, they finished with 4 players with at least 20 points, and frankly got a little boned by the refs if you think about it. There was the clear path foul that was called a normal foul, then there was George’s tech that was pretty weak in OT, then the late foul on a George three in double OT that they said was committed before his shot which I’m not so sure about either. They did a great job coming back from being down 16, were nails in that fourth quarter but at the end of the day the Spurs made more plays. A tough loss for sure but there’s no shame in losing to SA at home.
All things considered, this is why you can’t go to sleep during the season. This is why I don’t understand when people say the NBA isn’t a fun league. Did you see what we just witnessed? How is it possible to not have fun watching that. Top 3 game of the year, it has to be.
Good luck falling asleep anytime soon.