Thursday 19 October 2017 / 02:29 PM

MELBOURNE FALL JUST SHORT OF THUNDER UPSET

Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook created headlines Down Under – and Stateside – when he said “I aint expecting shit” from Melbourne United in the teams’ preseason clash.

The curt statement almost came back to bite the reigning NBA MVP, however, with the Thunder only just hanging on for an 86-85 win over the Aussie upstarts.

The new-look, big-name starting five of Westbrook, Andre Roberson, Steven Adams, and new recruits Paul George and Carmelo Anthony quickly realised they were in for a game as United carved out a three-point lead at the end of the first quarter.

OKC hit back with a 22-14 second quarter, but Melbourne inched back and won the third and fourth quarters.

The NBL underdogs could have snatched an incredible victory at the death, trailing by one with possession and 15 seconds on the clock, but two blocks by Thunder bench forward Josh Heustis saved the NBA heavyweights’ blushes.

Westbrook struggled to make an impression during his 28 minutes on the court, scoring nine points on 3-for-10 shooting, though he did rack up a game-high seven assists.

George top-scored with 22 points, while Anthony chipped in with 19.

For Melbourne, Casper Ware contributed a team-high 20 points and six rebounds, Casey Prather had 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, and Josh Boone tallied 15 points and nine rebounds.

[YouTube – Ximo Pierto]

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About the author

Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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