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SPORTS: Oklahoma City Thunder

Thunder Roars Back For Overtime Victory

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

Things hadn't been going overly well for the Thunder on Sunday night and when Russell Westbrook was ejected with 3:18 remaining in the fourth quarter and OKC saddled with a 10-point deficit, the writing appeared to be on the wall at The Peake.

Not so fast.

Instead of serving as the final nail in the coffin, Westbrook's dismissal fueled a thrilling Oklahoma City comeback, as the Thunder took down Washington 106-105 in overtime for the most exciting of the team's five victories so far this season.

The Thunder flipped the switch sans Russell and played inspired basketball the final three minutes, as the comeback effort was completed when a 3-point dagger from Kevin Durant with 13 seconds left sent this game into OT and the crowd into hysterics.

OKC continued the momentum with a quick 4-0 spurt to start the extra period, but Washington went on a 9-2 run over the next two-and-a-half minutes to put the Thunder's back against the wall again.

But, again, the Thunder had an answer.

Serge Ibaka was in the right place at the right time to recover a missed Reggie Jackson layup, snagging the loose ball and putting it in to close the gap to 105-104. Then KD worked his magic once again on the ensuing Wizards' possession.

Durant jumped on a Trevor Ariza pump fake but collected himself in time to jump again, blocking Ariza's jumper with 40 seconds left and taking the ball down the floor on a fastbreak, drawing a foul for a pair of free throws with 40.7 seconds left.

And in typical Durant fashion, he drilled both.

John Wall missed a contested layup at the buzzer on the other end, moving the Thunder to 3-0 at home on the season and 5-1 overall. Meanwhile, the Wiz fell to 2-4 and 1-3 on the road.

Durant was tremendous on Sunday with 33 points on 12-of-23 shooting with 13 rebounds and six assists, not mention his timely block, OT-forcing 3-pointer and game-winning free throws.

And while KD was amazing, Serge Ibaka played a huge factor in delivering this victory.

Ibaka had inarguably his best outing of the year with 25 points on 11-of-18 shooting and the timing of several of his shots aided in the Thunder's late rally. He also had 12 rebounds and three blocks in the contest.

Reggie Jackson had 12 points off the bench to go with seven rebounds and four assists, while Jeremy Lamb and Thabo Sefolosha added eight points each. Westbrook scored 13 points on 4-of-16 shooting with four assists and five turnovers prior to his ejection for shoving Nene Hilario, who was also ejected for initially pushing Russ to the floor after the whistle.

It wasn't a particularly strong shooting effort from OKC, but the late spurt got the team's field-goal percentage up to 44.6 compared to Washington's 45.5. The Thunder also outrebounded the Wizards 58-41 and had a 20-4 edge in fast-break points.

All five Washington starters reached double figures, highlighted by second-year guard Bradley Beal's career-high 34 points, including a 6-for-8 effort from 3.

Oklahoma City will ride its four-game winning streak into a high-profile early season tilt with the Los Angeles Clippers at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Staples Center.

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