Watch: Russell Westbrook hits stunning game-winner to beat the Atlanta Hawks

With the Oklahoma City Thunder struggling for consistency and offensive rhythm, Russell Westbrook has recently decided to take matters into his own hands. 

The point guard has looked to recreate the play that made him the MVP last season and has taken on much of the load for the team. 

He’s averaged 28.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 10.0 assists over the last five games and has been responsible for OKC winning four of those outings. 

In Friday night’s encounter at home to the Atlanta Hawks, the superstar stepped up when his team needed him the most. 

With the game tied at 117 with 11 seconds on the clock, the Thunder put the ball in Westbrook’s hands and gave him the responsibility to win them the contest. 

After dribbling out the clock for nearly 10 seconds, he drained a jumper over Taurean Prince that left only 1.7 seconds. That was only enough time for Atlanta to inbound and heave a length of the court shot that fell short. 

It capped a terrific performance from the eight-time All-Star as he finished with 30 points, seven rebounds and 15 assists on a hugely efficient 12-of-17 from the field. 

“We put ourselves in position to (win) the basketball game with the last shot and it went down,” Westbrook said after the game.

Throughout the campaign, the Thunder have had problems closing out games and it’s usually down to selecting a closer and identifying who’s going to take the last shot with fellow stars Paul George and Carmelo Anthony on the court. 

But PG13 says they’ve finally figured out what to do in late-game situations.

“I think we know now how to close and where we’re going to close,” George said. “Russ is our leader. … We knew that we could kind of mess them up with the play that we had, cause some confusion. They backed off and Russ had an easy, open opportunity. Russ is as good as anybody when it’s closing time.”

The OKC superstar was one of the best clutch players in the league last year and gave a reminder of his ability to deliver in crunch time again.

However, this heroic play by Westbrook once again masked a game where they struggled against one of worst teams in the league. 

The Hawks have a 7-25 record and for a team looking to compete with the elite opponents in the west, this game shouldn’t come down to the last shot. 

Much of their flaws were still evident in the win and it’s something head coach Billy Donovan must figure out quickly as it could prove costly against better competition.  

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