OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Paul George cut through two defenders, lofted a shot over seven-foot-one Rudy Gobert and waited just like everyone else.
George’s high-arching lob fell with less than a second remaining in double-overtime, capping a 45-point night with the winning shot in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 148-147 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday.
George dribbled out the final seconds before making his move and connecting with 0.8 seconds remaining.
“I knew I just had to step over and put it up,” George said. “I saw a little gap and so I put up the floater. It’s a shot I work (on). Just thank God it went in.”
Kyle Korver got off a desperate three for Utah, but it went long as the buzzer sounded.
“Tip your hat to him for making that play,” Jazz coach Quinn Snyder said of George.
“It’s a great play and that’s why he is who he is. He’s right there in the MVP conversation. It certainly looked like that tonight.”
Russell Westbrook added 43 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists, helping Oklahoma City overcome 38 points from Donovan Mitchell. Westbrook fouled out with 1:09 left in the first overtime, ending his NBA streak of 11 consecutive games with a triple-double.
The teams were well rested coming off an All-Star break that included an extra day off after many other teams resumed action on Thursday. Oklahoma City is chasing Denver for the number two spot in the Western Conference, and coach Billy Donovan was pleased with his team’s effort late into the night.
“I thought our guys showed a lot of toughness in the game,” Donovan said.
“There were different points in time, especially in regulation, where we needed to make a play and we did. Obviously with Russell and Terrance (Ferguson) fouling out, we had a lot of guys absorb minutes.