I personally passed up offers to hang out with people last night so I could watch ESPN’s NBA doubleheader featuring the Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics and the Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks, and I am glad I did. If you were out, you missed two great games that came down to the wire not only in regulation, but overtime as well.
Bulls sneak past Celtics with buzzer beaters in regulation and overtime
Carlos Boozer had 19 points and 20 rebounds, Joakim Noah had 14 points and 13 rebounds, Rip Hamilton scored 20, and three other Chicago players scored in double figures as the Bulls sneaked past the Boston Celtics 100-99 in overtime for a hotly-contested road victory, but not before some dramatics.
First, in regulation: Boozer, Kevin Garnett, and Kirk Hinrich traded free throws in the final 23 seconds to give Boston an 88-86 lead and the ball with just 20 seconds left. Chicago then was able to force a jump ball with nine seconds remaining rather than having to take a foul, then won the jump ball, setting up Hinrich for a game-tying jumper with two seconds left. Kevin Garnett airballed a long fadeaway at the buzzer as the teams headed to overtime.
In OT, it was more of the same. This time, the Bulls took a lead into the final minute at 98-95. Then, following two Paul Pierece free throws, a Marco Belinelli turnover, and a clutch jumper from Jason Terry with 12.5 seconds to play, Chicago found themselves down again 99-98.
That set up this final play:
Boston was led by Rondo with 30 points and seven assists.
Kevin Durant explodes for 52 as Thunder edge out Mavericks in overtime
Kevin Durant went off for a career-high 52, Russell Westbrook added 31, and Dallas just couldn’t keep up in the end as the Oklahoma City Thunder walked away with a 117-114 victory in overtime.
Dallas was led by Vince Carter in a throwback performance with 29 points in 32 minutes, including this posterizing dunk on Serge Ibaka late in the fourth quarter that left the Dallas home crowd speechless.
After a couple free throws by Westbrook and a Dallas timeout, OJ Mayo got free on the wing for the game-tying three pointer with two seconds left in regulation. Durant then missed a triple-teamed jumper at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.
In overtime, it was more Durant, who scored nine points in the extra frame to match the entire Mavericks team. Add three more points from Westbrook and a few miscues from ten-day contract point guard Mike James, who was somehow playing overtime minutes at point guard instead of Darren Collison, and the Thunder were able to walk away with the three-point victory, snapping Dallas’ four-game winning streak and adding to their own six-game winning streak.
All statistics via ESPN