Time froze for a brief moment in time on Wednesday when Thunder wing Lu Dort buried a three as time expired notch Oklahoma City a victory. Shai Gilgeous Alexander inbounded the ball from the left hash to Al Horford who broke loose from Jakob Poetl at the free throw looking to sneak inside. Pacing his way down the lane Patty Mills opted to help on the big leaving Dort wide open for the right corner three. Catch, fire, shoot, all it took was 2.1 seconds — splash. “It felt good when it left my hand… I was just staring at the ball the whole time,” he added.
The 21-year-old laid sprawled out the floor before being showered by teammates once the clock hit 0.0. “It felt great.” Dort said. When at the bottom of the dog pile, “They were all yelling in my face.”
For Lu this shot struck a personal accolade of his, marking his first game winner at any level. The wing later credited his teammates for giving him confidence for his final shot, “My teammates just tell me to keep shooting. I just got to stay locked in, knock them down when I’m open.”
Lu’s impeccable finisher came on short notice, as Mark Daigneault intended for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to re-enter the play upon inbounding to Horford, but with SGA closed off, Dort emerged in the spotlight. Mark Daigneault notes that “learning the lessons” in late game situations has been pivotal for his guys adding that Dort has “through the ups and downs of his shooting season.”
The man who set it all up in Al Horford may have explained the final seconds of Wednesday’s contest best. “It really felt like a March Madness type [shot]… A lot of energy. A lot of joy.”