SACRAMENTO (AP) — Russell Westbrook made a 3-pointer as time expired, lifting the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 110-107 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Thursday night.
The Thunder blew a 23-point lead and trailed 105-102 with 4 ½ minutes remaining before closing the game on an 8-2 run.
Paul George scored 26 points, Carmelo Anthony had 23 and Westbrook finished with 17 to help Oklahoma City to its second win in three games against Sacramento this season.
Westbrook, who notched his 18th triple-double of the season, made three free throws sandwiched around a bucket in the paint by Steven Adams to put Oklahoma City up 107-105.
Justin Jackson’s 6-foot jumper off an offensive rebound tied the game. After a timeout, the Thunder got the ball in front of Sacramento’s bench and Anthony found Westbrook atop the 3-point line for the winner.
Westbrook lifted the Thunder from what would have been a devastating loss after a fast start in their first game since the All-Star break. They set a season high with 44 points in the first quarter and made 12 3-pointers but still had to rally in the final minutes to win.
Anthony matched his season high of seven 3-pointers and George had three from beyond the arc, ending his five-game streak with five or more 3s. It was the second-longest streak in NBA history behind George McCloud’s six-game streak in 1996.
The Thunder shot nearly 70 percent in the first quarter and made seven 3s, including three straight by Anthony. George had two of them and added a three-point play and two free throws to put Oklahoma City up 44-21.
It was the complete opposite for Billy Donovan’s club after that.
Sacramento went on a pair of big runs early in the second quarter and got within 64-60 before Anthony’s fifth 3 of the first half briefly halted the onslaught and put Oklahoma City up by seven at halftime.
The Thunder led 85-74 midway through the third before the Kings made another surge. Vince Carter, the 41-year-old former dunk champion, had a three-point play and 3-pointer and Sacramento scored the final 16 points of the period to go up 90-85.
Zach Randolph scored 29 points to lead five Kings in double figures.
Kings: Frank Mason scored six points in his first game since Dec. 31. Mason had been sidelined with a partially torn right facscia. . De’Aaron Fox (conjunctiveitis) and Kosta Koufos (ill) were held out.
Thunder: After scoring 44 points in the first quarter, the Thunder totaled just 41 over the next two periods.
Thunder: At Golden State on Saturday.
Kings: Host the Lakers on Saturday.