Welcome to the Daily NBA Fix for Saturday, March 22, the morning after Kevin Durant saved the Oklahoma City Thunder from disaster in Toronto.
While much of the nation was focusing on the destruction of their vain attempts at the perfect NCAA tournament bracket, Kevin Durant once again put the Oklahoma City Thunder on his back and carried them to an important victory.
Durant had his second 50-point game of the season—the first player with multiple 50-point games in a season since Dwyane Wade and LeBron James each had three in 2008-09—and the Thunder erased an eight-point deficit in the final 49 seconds in the second overtime at the Air Canada Centre for an improbable 119-118 win over the Toronto Raptors.
Kyle Lowry made a pair of free throws to put the Raptors up 118-110, but Toronto closed out the game with a shot-clock violation, a turnover by John Salmons, two missed free throws by Salmons and a missed jumper by DeMar DeRozan while the Thunder got two 3-pointers from Durant and one from Derek Fisher, including a dagger by Durant with 1.7 seconds remaining that put the Thunder ahead.
Oklahoma City won despite losing point guard Russell Westbrook to a knee injury in the third quarter. He banged legs with Lowry, but the injury was initially diagnosed as a sprain, meaning the Thunder might have dodged potential disaster. The three-time All-Star has already missed 32 games this season because of his balky knee.
The Daily NBA Fix will deliver highlights, game capsules, the top and bottom five players, the dreaded Goose Egg, Clean and Sober and Ironman awards, we’ll recap who’s circling the drain, there will be some interesting pieces of relevant (and not-so-relevant) information and we’ll look at today’s daily lines for those people who like to wager a buck or two.
Check out the highlights below from the night that was, then get into the game capsules (home teams in CAPS).