Basketball: Young steals the thunder

Jordan Clarkson of the Los Angeles Lakers scoring on his off-balance shot as he is fouled by the Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook during a National Basketball Association game. The Lakers won 111-109 in the dying seconds to snap a nine-game
Jordan Clarkson of the Los Angeles Lakers scoring on his off-balance shot as he is fouled by the Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook during a National Basketball Association game. The Lakers won 111-109 in the dying seconds to snap a nine-game losing streak to the Thunder.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

He sinks winner off an unintended pass, as Oklahoma City lose 6 of last 8 games

LOS ANGELES • The pass was intended for Lou Williams. However, team-mate Nick Young intercepted it and buried a game-winning shot.

"The play was designed for somebody else. I think they should give me a steal for that," Young joked.

His three-point bucket with five seconds left was the difference, boosting the Los Angeles Lakers to a 111-109 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in a National Basketball Association (NBA) game on Tuesday at Staples Center.

"We worked hard tonight and it came down to the big shot," said Young, who connected on 6-of-12 attempts, including 4-of-7 from three-point range.

"I was in the way, stole the ball from Lou. He let me know afterwards, but I was lucky I made it."

Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram tried to pass the ball to Williams near the top of the key on the final possession.

However, Young stepped into the passing lane and delivered in the clutch, allowing the Lakers (8-7) to snap a nine-game losing streak to the Thunder (8-7).

"It was a little confusing," said Thunder guard Victor Oladipo, who finished with 14 points.

"Seems like I was guarding three people at one time. Nick kind of came out of nowhere. Looked like it was going to Lou."

Russell Westbrook missed a contested three-point attempt just before the horn as the Thunder dropped their sixth contest in the last eight games.

"We fought back, but it just wasn't good enough," said Westbrook, who led the Thunder with 34 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds.

Steven Adams finished with 20 points, while Joffrey Lauvergne had 12 for Oklahoma City.

Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points to lead six Lakers in double figures. Young contributed 17 points, Timofey Mozgov had 16 points and Williams added 13.

The Lakers grabbed their biggest lead, 97-83, after a dunk by Larry Nance Jr with 6min 44sec left, but the Thunder rallied behind the shooting of Westbrook, who scored 17 points in the fourth quarter, including four three-pointers.

Westbrook's trey cut the Lakers' lead to 108-105 with 1:38 left.

A dunk by Adams followed with 43.2 seconds remaining, pulling Oklahoma City within one point.

After Nance missed a jump hook, Adams scored again to lift the Thunder to a 109-108 lead with 13.9 seconds left, setting up Young's heroics.

"Listen, Young made a tough shot. It wasn't like he took a lay-up," Thunder coach Billy Donovan said.

"He made a very deep, fall-away three, so give him credit for putting the ball in the basket."

Luke Walton, the Lakers coach, said: "It was a pretty incredible shot by him. He loves the moment. He made a big shot for us."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2016, with the headline 'Young steals the thunder'. Print Edition | Subscribe