THUNDER CANNOT CLOSE REAL DEAL

Real Madrid became the latest Euroleague team to take a NBA scalp by beating the Oklahoma City Thunder.

It required a miracle shot from Sergio Llull to force overtime in the pre-season friendly in the Spanish capital but the hosts prevailed 142-137.

In their first game of the season, the Thunder were paced by five-time NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook, newcomer Victor Oladipo and forward Enes Kanter, with 18 points from 22 minutes, 34 points and five assists from 33 minutes and 29 points and 10 rebounds from 33 minutes respectively.

Despite being in control of the game for the first three quarters, the Thunder then allowed the nine-time Euroleague champion to complete their comeback with a three-pointer by Sergio Llull at the buzzer, which sent the game into overtime. During overtime, Real Madrid then managed to prevail over the 2016 NBA Western Conference finalists, giving the home team their second victory in eight games against NBA teams.

“We were able to stay in the game and in the second half our performance was much better,” Real coach Pablo Laso said. “We had that lucky play at the end to go in to overtime, and then in the overtime we stayed together and finally got a big victory. We’re beating an NBA team, all our fans will probably feel very proud about our team after this victory.”

The Oklahoma City Thunder will now travel to Barcelona where they will take on FC Barcelona Lassa on Wednesday Oct 5 at the Palau Sant Jordi.

Westbrook, now starting an era without Kevin Durant at his side, admitted OKC are a work in progress.

“We have a lot of new faces. We have some things in mind, some different things to pick up on but we’ll get there,” he said. “Right now it’s pre-season and we’re trying to play to get ready for the season and make sure we’re clicking for when the season starts.”

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