The finish of Monday night's game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets weren't especially exciting — the two teams combined to go 16 for 47 from the field and commit 18 personal fouls in the fourth quarter, there were failed attempts to intentionally miss a free-throw and loft a final-possession lob for Timofey Mozgov, there was a lot of Derek Fisher, and even without overzealous use of timeouts, it was generally the sort of basketball that non-fans reference when they talk about disliking how the last few minutes of an NBA game seem to take forever. There were, however, two fun moments — well, not so fun if you're a Nuggets fan, I suppose.
The rest of us, though, should derive as much enjoyment as possible from this Kevin Durant bomb with just under 90 seconds remaining:
It's tough to see in the clip above — and, regrettably, also tough to see in the broadcast clip, since the shot cuts away from Durant to show the roaring Chesapeake Energy Arena crowd — but after dropping in that straight-on 25-footer, Durant allowed himself a brief moment of self-celebration:
KD SHIMMY SHIMMY DOT GIF
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) November 19, 2013
Yep: KD busted out a little shoulder-shimmy after his triple. From Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman:
“That was a ‘Finally' shimmy,” said Russell Westbrook.
“Finally, I made a shot,” Durant explained. “I had, like, three wide open 3s that rimmed in and out for me. And I just wanted to hit a big shot for my team. I guess that's the only thing that came to mind.”
Understandably so — it's a standard element of KD's free-throw routine:
... and something he's broken out on the bench with Team USA:
... so after making his third 3-ball in nine tries on Monday, and his first in six fourth-quarter attempts, it makes sense that he'd loosen up a bit. (According to Daily Thunder's Royce Young, Westbrook added: “I love it, man. I’m full of animation. I’m glad he finally added some animation to his game too, so it’s good.”)
Speaking of loosening up a bit, I can't imagine that'll be too much of a problem for Nuggets big man J.J. Hickson, now that Westbrook has pulverized the bones, tendons and ligaments in both his legs:
Yeesh. Westbrook's evil shakedown gave OKC a two-possession lead with less than 22 seconds left, and while Denver hung close, the Thunder won the late-fourth free-throw contest to come away with a 115-113 home win that improved their record to 7-3 and helped them keep pace in the Northwest Division with the surging Portland Trail Blazers, who were also victorious in their Monday matchup with the Brooklyn Nets.
Westbrook finished with 30 points on 10 for 25 shooting, including a 3-for-4 mark from long range, a team-high 12 rebounds and seven assists in perhaps his best all-around performance since coming back from knee surgery. Durant finished with a game-high 38 points, eight rebounds, six assists and one heck of a noteworthy performance:
Top video via the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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