As the season is coming closer and closer, we’re going going to bring you our thoughts of the top 20 games since the Thunder moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City. We broke it down to about to about 50 games, and then narrowed it down to 20. We decided most were going to be wins, we had one game that was a loss in the top 20, and it’s easily the most memorable lost. Well, for me at least. Without further adieu:
When: January 22, 2011
Location: Oklahoma City, OK – Chesapeake Energy Arena
Final Score: Oklahoma City Thunder 101, New York Knicks 98
Big Players: K. Durant 30 Points, 12 Rebounds, 2 Assists
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Oklahoma City trailed almost the entire game versus the Knicks. They kept it close throughout. Well, for the most part. Kevin Durant got the last laugh though.
“Once I let it go, it felt like everybody went silent,” Durant said. “And once it went in, I really couldn’t hear too much. I was just looking towards the bench. Once I snapped back into it, I really heard the crowd.
“That’s one of the all-time best feelings that I’ve had so far in this league.”
Kevin Durant’s 26-foot three-point buzzer beater over Danilo Galinari was the first buzzer beater at home for this young Thunder squad, and it sent the Oklahoma City Arena into a frenzy. The Thunder trailed the Knicks 94-88 with 4:05 remaining in the game, and like we’ve learned to love it, Oklahoma City made their run.
Durant and Russell Westbrook combined to score 18 of the final 20 points for the Thunder. When the Knicks grabbed the lead it was Durant who got to the line to hit two free throws.
Raymond Felton scored the last New York Knicks points with 1:14 with he hit a nice 18 foot jumper in the face of Russell Westbrook giving the Knicks the 98-95 lead. After a Durant miss, Serge Ibaka was able to draw a foul on Amar’e Stoudamire, and he nailed both free throws. Oklahoma City was right back in it. 98-97 with 1:02 remaining.
Westbrook had a chance to give Oklahoma City the lead with 29 seconds left, but missed the second shot. Felton then turned around, missed a shot with seven seconds left, setting up this play:
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Oklahoma City won the game, and I think it really spurred on something special in Oklahoma City. That win just made Oklahoma City 28-15. Oklahoma City went 5-2 over the next eight games and eventually went to the Western Conference Finals.