On the same night Blake Griffin destroyed Nebraska, Oklahoma City's current power forward made a strong statement. Jeff Green banked in a last-second shot, sending the Thunder to a wild win over Golden State.
OKC scored a season high 122 points, but it was Green who turned Coach Brooks into a genius with a first-time final play. Russell Westbrook found the wide-open Green anxious for the ball, and the second year pro didn't disappoint. While playing the Warriors' faster tempo, the Thunder held a halftime lead before looking lost in the third quarter.
Then Green took over, showing all aspects of his game in the fourth. He scored a team-high nine points, set up Kyle Weaver's three-pointer to open the quarter, and helped his club overcome a seven-point deficit on the road. The game-winner was the first of Green's career, and it ensured OKC of not breaking the NBA record for losses in a season.
Golden State became the Thunder's third road victim, and it took a total team effort for victory number nine. Only Westbrook, OKC's fastest player, looked comfortable in the first half, as he scored 20 points and kept his team on top. Kevin Durant poured in nine third quarter points, single-handedly keeping the contest close for Green's heroics.
Nick Collison and Nenad Krstic handled the job inside, and the Thunder again won the rebounding battle. It was a great way to start out the road trip and was the third win in OKC's last four games. Now the only thing left is to finally get out of the league's cellar.
The Clippers will try to keep the Thunder from leaving Los Angeles with another road victory and one that would put LA on the bottom of the Western Conference standings. Both are trying to help Washington take the lead in the Griffin lottery, as the battle for the Oklahoma big man heats up entering the last week of January.
Something tells me Green would like nothing more than to send the Sooner star outside the state to begin his pro career. With a few more wins, OKC won't be looking for another power forward, only a lucky bounce to stay in the Draft's top three.