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Countdown to Camp: 10 best games from 2008-09: No. 8

No. 8: Thunder outlasts Chicago in overtime, 109-98

This game was right at the beginning of the Thunder’s 2009 renaissance. Going in to Chicago, OKC was 5-32, but had just won two of its last five, which was pretty good considering. But this game was on the road and the Thunder had only one previous road win and held a road record of 1-16 coming in. So the chances of victory hedged somewhere between none and none. But after finishing regulation tied at 94-94 and missing out on a last second chance to win, hopes of OKC playing well in overtime were about as low as they could be. But the Thunder shocked the world outscoring the Bulls 15-4 in extra time, to lock away win No. 6 behind Kevin Durant’s game-high 28 points.

The main attraction of the game was the matchup of two of the league’s most exciting young guards – Russell Westbrook v. Derrick Rose. Both were battling for Rookie of the Year votes and maybe if one outplayed the other, some votes might swing one way or the other. In the Thunder’s overtime win, Rose had 18 points (8-18) and six assists, while Westbrook was just 5-20 from the floor with 14 points. But in typical Westbrook fashion he did one thing well as he had 12 rebounds.

No quarter in this game was separated by more than two points, but the Thunder finished nine points ahead in overtime, which is all the mattered. It was a back-and-forth affair until the last five minutes. Which for a change, was nice to see. Especially on the road.