Thunder deal Rockets 20th straight NBA defeat
published : 22 Mar 2021 at 07:45
LOS ANGELES: Oklahoma City's Lu Dort scored 23 points and came up with a "heroic" late block on Houston's John Wall Sunday as the Thunder handed the Rockets their 20th straight NBA defeat, 114-112.
The Thunder led by one when Dort missed a three-point attempt and the Rockets snagged the rebound with 15.8 seconds remaining.
Wall drove past Dort to the rim, but Dort managed to swat the ball cleanly away from behind, denying Wall's layup with nine seconds remaining.
"Honestly that was a heroic play," Thunder center Moses Brown said. "I've never seen anything like it and it was so clutch."
Lu acknowledged that Wall "kind of beat me, so I just had to recover and not give up on that play."
There was no time to celebrate however, Wall getting one more chance but bouncing a three-point attempt off the rim with less than two seconds remaining.
In the absence of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Al Horford, Dort led the Thunder against the reeling Rockets, whose 20-game skid is now three games longer than their previous worst losing streak.
Center Christian Wood led Houston with 27 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
Wall, in his second game back from a five-game injury absence, added 24 points and seven assists.
It was close in Miami, where the Indiana Pacers turned back the Heat's late rally for a 109-106 overtime victory over last season's Eastern Conference champions.
Trailing by five in the extra session, Indiana had two three-pointers by Justin Holiday and another by Malcolm Brogdon to seize the lead.
Caris LeVert, who missed a potential game-winner in the waning moments of regulation, drove in the dagger with a pull-up jumper with 48.2 seconds left that put Indiana up by three.
Seven Pacers players scored in double figures, with Domantas Sabonis contributing 17 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out in overtime.
Bam Adebayo led the Heat with 29 points and 10 rebounds but Miami endured their third straight defeat.
In Denver, Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson scored 30 points apiece for New Orleans and Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 20 points for the Pelicans, who overcame another triple-double from Nikola Jokic in a 113-108 victory over the Nuggets.
Jokic posted his 11th triple-double of the season with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, helping the Nuggets rally from a three-point deficit heading into the fourth.
His three-pointer with 5:18 remaining capped a 9-0 scoring run that put the Nuggets up 95-92.
A couple of three-point plays by Ingram helped the Pelicans regain a three-point lead with less than a minute to play and New Orleans connected on a string of late free throws to seal the win.