Basketball

Wiggins steals the thunder with buzzer-beater

Carmelo Anthony had just put his new team Oklahoma City Thunder ahead with five seconds left and was ready to celebrate a victory.

But no one passed the memo to the Minnesota Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins who, erm, stole his thunder.

With time expiring, Wiggins hit a game-winning three-pointer from near half-court for the Timberwolves to turn the tables and win 115-113 yesterday morning (Singapore time).

"I could see how much time was left," Wiggins said. "I got as close as I could and let it go. Everything worked perfectly.

"When the ball left my hands, it felt amazing."

The result left the crowd in Oklahoma City - not to mention the Thunder - stunned by a second straight defeat.

Anthony, acquired in September from the New York Knicks in a blockbuster trade, finished with 23 points.

Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 27 points apiece. Towns also pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds.

Reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook, coming off a six-point performance in a loss to the Utah Jazz a day earlier, shook off a slow start to bag 31 points and 10 assists for Oklahoma City.

But his late-game heroics weren't enough after the Thunder's lacklustre start.

He scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, including a three-pointer with 30 seconds remaining that tied the game at 110-110.

Towns answered with another basket, and after Anthony's three-pointer put the Thunder up again, Wiggins swooped for the win.

Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving is off to a rocky start with the Boston Celtics after the league slapped the point guard with a US$25,000 (S$34,000) fine for verbally abusing a Philadelphia 76ers fan.

The exchange took place at half-time of the Celtics' 102-92 win over the 76ers last Friday, when a fan made a reference to Irving's former teammate LeBron James as the teams were heading to the locker rooms at the Wells Fargo Center arena.

The Celtics acquired Irving in an off-season move after he demanded a trade from the NBA Finals runners-up Cleveland Cavaliers, where James' shadow looms large.

The fan in Philadelphia reportedly yelled, "Kyrie, where's LeBron" as the Celtics walked past, drawing a response from Irving.

Irving admitted he yelled at the fan, an act which was caught on video, but when asked by ESPN.com if he had any regrets said, "Hell no".

Irving then talked about the exchange like it was a run-in with another NBA player.

"At the end of the day, we're human. It's in the heat of the moment, and frustrations arise. We were at half-time, we were down by four, in an environment, a season-opener in Philly," he said. - AFP


OTHER RESULTS

  • Brooklyn Nets 116 Atlanta Hawks 104
  • Los Angeles Lakers 112 New Orleans Pelicans 119
NBA