OKC Thunder Fan From Missouri Talks Winning Half-Court Shot - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

OKC Thunder Fan From Missouri Talks Winning Half-Court Shot

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"To have 18,000 strangers there just become family in an instant, it is unreal," Dougherty said. "To have 18,000 strangers there just become family in an instant, it is unreal," Dougherty said.
Sydney Friar and Justin Dougherty. Sydney Friar and Justin Dougherty.
Thunder star Kevin Durant got in on the action, tacking Dougherty to the ground. Thunder star Kevin Durant got in on the action, tacking Dougherty to the ground.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

A Missouri man is $20,000 richer, after sinking a half-court shot in between quarters of Sunday night's Thunder game.

Justin Dougherty was visiting from Springfield and said his girlfriend gave him the tickets for his birthday.

"To have 18,000 strangers there just become family in an instant, it is unreal," Dougherty said.

He said that feeling, and the shot of a lifetime almost didn't happen. He hates to miss a day of his job as a sports anchor, but the tickets were a birthday present.

"I certainly had no intention of this birthday gift going to the level that it did," said his girlfriend, Sydney Friar.

Dougherty said it was his first time at an NBA arena. He tweeted a picture before the game, when he was selected to participate in a free-throw contest, with the winner headed to the main event.

"As soon as I realized I only made two, I was like, 'Oh, I lost,' and then the guy's like, 'Justin you win, you're getting ready to take a shot for $20,000,'" Dougherty said.

3/25/2013 Related Story: Second Thunder Fan Wins $20,000 After Half-Court Shot

And then, in front of a packed Chesapeake Arena, came his moment of truth.

"Once the ball was in mid-flight, I remember thinking, 'That's straight, that could go,' and I remember thinking it felt like the ball was in flight for 30 seconds," Dougherty said.

It eventually went in and Dougherty said he knew, right away, he had to hug his girlfriend.

"I felt pretty good, because he ran past all those cheerleaders, right to me," Friar said.

"I just wanted to make sure I hugged her, because she was the whole reason I was there," Dougherty said.

The floor crew had to call Dougherty back on the court, because there was still a game to finish, but there was one more memory left to be made, when Thunder star Kevin Durant got in on the action.

He came in for bear hug and ended up tackling Dougherty to the ground.

"I was trying to hold him up and he just became dead weight, and I was like, 'Sir, we're about to go down,' and I wanted to make sure I hit first, because he can't get hurt," Dougherty said.

It was a tackle the 24-year-old said he'll never forget, along with a half-court shot that could be heard back home in Missouri.

"Its one of those things where I would have never planned for it to happen, but it has happened, and so now all I can do is kinda laugh about it and embrace it," Dougherty said.

Dougherty said he'll use his prize money to pay off his car loan and maybe get his girlfriend something nice.

He's said his dream job is being on SportsCenter one day. He was the number one on their top 10 plays of the day, Monday.

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