It went right down to the wire in Philadelphia, but the Oklahoma City Thunder escaped with a 117-115 win, thanks to some late-game heroics from Paul George.
With the Thunder trailing 115-113, George pulled off a four-point play, rising up over Jimmy Butler, burying a dagger three-pointer and the ensuing free-throw to give his team the W.
Philly looked to have pulled off the comeback win, taking a late lead thanks to Butler's layup, after he picked off a stray Dennis Schroder pass to go up 115-113.
On the previous posession, Joel Embiid squared things up, knocking down three free throws after Russell Westbrook fouled him on the three-point line. It was Westbrook's sixth foul and just when it looked like the Thunder had thrown the game away, PG delivered when it mattered most.
PAUL GEORGE 4-POINT PLAY FOR THE WIN 💥 #ThunderUp pic.twitter.com/cbCoRGW8oq- NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) January 19, 2019
Philly trailed by as many as 16 points in the first quarter, struggling to contain big man Steven Adams, who dominated in the paint, dragging down offensive rebounds and getting easy looks at the rim. OKC led by three points at half-time, before getting the lead back out to 88-79 heading into the fourth, but Philly refused to go away, even taking a 99-97 lead, before George took control of the game, going on a solo 8-0 to swing the momentum back in OKC's favour.
George simply dominated the fourth quarter, scoring 14 of his 31 points in the period, adding five assists, six rebounds and three steals, while Westbrook added 21 points, 10 rebounds and six assists before fouling out. Dennis Schroder added 21 points off the bench.
After dropping five of their past six games, the Thunder move to 27-18 after the much-needed win, their 19th straight against the 76ers, who haven't beaten OKC since 2008.
Jimmy Butler steal and lay-in for the lead.- NBA (@NBA) January 19, 2019
Paul George clutch 4-point play to win it.
👀 THE INCREDIBLE FINISH FROM PHILADELPHIA, as the @okcthunder take it on the road! #ThunderUp pic.twitter.com/ErRlsC6lUe
For the 76ers Joel Embiid led the way with 31 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while Ben Simmons continued his sizzling form of late, piling on 20 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists, including some impressive defensive sequences while guarding Westbrook.
JJ Redick added 22 points and Jimmy Butler 18, with the 76ers' three-game win streak coming to an end.
Ben Simmons stuffed the stat sheet against #OKC as the #Sixers went down in a thriller 117-115 #HereTheyCome- NBA Australia (@NBA_AU) January 19, 2019
📊 20 PTS | 15 REB | 9 AST pic.twitter.com/pretF3zxBq
OKC wil look to build on the win, when they face the 10-34 New York Knicks on the road on Tuesday, while the 76ers continue their tough stretch of games when they take on an in-form James Harden and the Houston Rockets.