Last night was just one of those nights sports fans will never, ever forget and as many were captivated by the The Masters, NBA fans found themselves witnessing history and the unimaginable all at the same time. The perfectly ordinary became the extraordinary as the Cleveland Cavaliers, on at a primetime slot for European fans, gave up a 26 point lead vs the Atlanta Hawks after an overtime period full of drama and intrigue. LeBron fouled out on a nothing play. Atlanta got away with a few feet sticking out-of-bounds, and Mike Muscala hit the biggest shot of his life. They became the third team ever to come back from at least 26 points entering the fourth quarter to win a game. The others were the Lakers, who trailed the Mavericks 88-61 in 2002, and the Bucks, who trailed the Hawks 104-76 in 1997.
And for those watching Russell Westbrook’s quest for the all-time triple-doubles record in Denver, the unthinkable became reality. As I tuned in, it almost looked as if Denver might stop the human torch, but alas greatness emerged and after a quick drive and dish to Semaj Christon, Westbrook had his record. His record, 42. 42 triple-doubles, a record which Oscar Robertson will never get to beat and one which may well stand the test of time. At that point it would have been easy for the future MVP in waiting to give up, in fact I shamefully switched off, but Westbrook wasn’t about to take the rest of the night off. All he did after achieving his goal was aim for another. He scored the Thunder’s final 15 points, including the game-winner to rally from a deficit that had been 13 points, before Christon’s corner 3. This was the first game-winning buzzer-beater of Westbrook’s career and in one fell swoop it ended Denver’s playoff hopes and simultaneously sealed his own. It was a moment that you simply could not storybook, an MVP moment, and the moment at which I realised James Harden was about to lose another race. Last night will never be forgotten.