OKLAHOMA CITY (AFP) - Serge Ibaka did not mince his words when asked what it was like to lift the Orlando Magic to a 119-117 win in his first National Basketball Association game back against his former Oklahoma City team.
"I'm not going to lie to you," he said. "It felt good."
The 27-year-old Congolese made the most of his return to Oklahoma City, scoring 31 points, including the game-winning jumper with 0.4 of a second left.
"Everybody was very happy for Serge," team-mate Evan Fournier said. "It was a very important game for him. He probably won't tell you guys this, but I'm pretty sure it was.
"After playing seven years in this city, you want to play good against that city and the team that traded you."
Ibaka finished with 13-of-19 shooting from the field, nine rebounds and four blocked shots.
Fournier was also on fire, scoring 21 points while Elfrid Payton added 23 points for Orlando.
After playing for the Thunder for seven years, Ibaka was shipped in the off-season when many around the Thunder believed his skills were in a decline.
He went head-to-head with Thunder star Russell Westbrook who had his third triple-double of the season with 41 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds.
It was the first time in two years Oklahoma City lost when Westbrook registered a triple-double.
Thunder centre Enes Kanter came off the bench to score 16 points and grab eight rebounds. Andre Roberson scored 14 points to go with four blocked shots.
In the final minute, the Thunder gave the ball to Westbrook, and Ibaka fouled him while attempting a three-pointer.
He made two-of-three from the foul line and Oklahoma City went up 117-114 with 37 seconds. It did not last long as Fournier came down and tied the contest with another three-pointer.
Westbrook tried to put the Thunder ahead with a shot from the free-throw line. But it was off and the Magic got the rebound with 11 seconds on the clock.
Ibaka would not be denied. He took the ball and drove to the baseline and drilled a short jump shot over two Thunder players with 0.4 left in the game.