Clutch Paul: Thunder scorch Nets in OT, 111-103

Box Score

The Thunder headed north on the second night of a back-to-back after falling to the Philadelphia 76ers just 24 hours before. On Tuesday, they recovered against the Brooklyn Nets with a hard-fought 111-103 overtime victory, closing out their four-game road trip with a 3-1 record.

The Nets are short-handed, but you couldn’t tell Taurean Prince that in the first quarter, where he shot an unconscious 4-for-4 from three, but the Thunder kept their heads above water through the first half.

This was a very evenly-matched game for the Thunder, considering they were short two key players. Danilo Gallinari sat out of the contest with a right calf contusion and Nerlens Noel missed his second-straight with a bummed ankle.

Back-and-fourth this game went. There were 13 lead changes and 12 ties throughout, and the largest lead was OKC by nine. The third quarter for OKC featured multiple possessions where the Thunder offense went stagnant, while Brooklyn’s offense was rolling. The Nets went on a 27-15 run through the final 8 minutes of the third quarter and entered the fourth up three.

With a fourth-quarter comeback expected by most, if not all Thunder fans, they couldn’t get into a rhythm. Their offense was still pretty stagnant, Schroder and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander were making rookie mistakes which led to turnovers, and Brooklyn continued to keep a slight lead on OKC. It’s like like couldn’t get over the hump to put the Nets away.

That’s until Chris Paul happened. The saga of Thunder comebacks led by Chris Paul continued after he turned on the jets, once again late in the game. CP3 scored 16 points in the fourth quarter and four points in overtime. He finished with 28 points on the night, so he entered the fourth with only eight points.

Chris Paul saved the day on the offensive end, but Terrance Ferguson’s defensive effort down the stretch went unnoticed. He was all over the place on the perimeter, ensuring that Brooklyn didn’t get any easy perimeter shots.

Once again, Oklahoma City overcame adversity and pulled out a muddy victory in Brooklyn, NY. Next up will be an emotional game where Russell Westbrook will return to the Chesapeake Energy Arena where his 24-11 Rockets will face the now 21-16 Thunder.

A. Suave Francisco

Founder & Editor-in-Chief. National Association of Black Journalists. University of Central Oklahoma.

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