With Kiwi big man Steven Adams out, reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook did it all to carry the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 95-94 win over the Denver Nuggets.

Had it not been for Westbrook's heroics, with the guard notching 38 points, nine rebounds and six assists, the Thunder would have likely dropped their second straight home game.

The big Kiwi's production on the court was again missed as forwards Paul George and Carmelo Anthony struggled to get anything going on the offensive end, shooting a combined 5-19 from the floor.

Adams was held out for the second game in a row due to a concussion, with the 24-year-old yet to clear the NBA's concussion protocol, and missed a match up against fellow ex-Wellington Saint Torrey Craig. Craig, who played for the Saints in the NZNBL in 2015 and 2016, drew the start at small forward for the Nuggets for the match.


The Thunder got off to a hot start, out-scoring the Denver side 32-18 in the first quarter. Things were a bit closer at half time as Denver fought back, with the Thunder leading 52-46 at the break.

It was a different story in the second half, as Denver flipped the script to out-score Oklahoma City 32-18 in the third quarter as the Thunder didn't show any energy on the court.

And it looked as though the visitors might have been on track to leave with a win to their name as the fourth quarter ticked down. But with the score locked at 94 with seconds to go, a Westbrook free throw was enough for the Thunder to sneak away with the result.

The result sees the Thunder return to the .500 mark for the season, with a 15-15 record.