PHILADELPHIA -- It took three overtimes to get there, but eventually the Oklahoma City Thunder held off the Philadelphia 76ers 119-117, and after the final horn sounded, Russell Westbrook waved Joel Embiid off the court.
"He told me to go home, man. I mean, this is my home, so I guess it's on him to go home," Embiid said. "They won the game. I give them a lot of credit -- they did a lot of things. But I mean, the dude shot like 10-of-33. I wish I would've shot 33 times. I guess we would've had a better chance of actually winning the game. But he told me to go home, man. This is my home. I ain't going nowhere."
After Steven Adams fouled out in the third overtime, with Embiid forcing the foul, the Sixers big man pulled what has become a signature troll move, waving at Adams as he was disqualified from the game. Westbrook said he didn't appreciate the gesture.
"I told him to go home," Westbrook said. "He was talking mess to Steve-O -- [who] fouled out -- waving to the crowd, which is unnecessary. Waving to Steve-O bye. You know, now it's time for him to go home."
Things got chippy between Embiid and the Thunder earlier in the game, as he got into some trash-talking with Carmelo Anthony in the fourth quarter after Embiid scored an and-1 over Anthony.
"He just said something like, 'Don't do this with me,' or something like that. I'm like, 'Dude, you're not going to do anything,'" Embiid said. "Guys in the league, I mean, I can't remember the last time someone actually threw a punch at somebody, so I'm not worried about anybody. I've seen that a lot all over the place, about people talking about people coming back at me. I'm African, so don't try me."
For his part, Anthony, who played his best game of the season with 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting, said he actually enjoyed the exchange.
"It's a process," Anthony said. "I mean, he's Embiid, man. He's a hell of a talent, a tough guy to guard down low. I just love his competitive spirit and his competitive nature. He was quiet for the most part tonight. He got the and-1, then it started to come up out of him. I like that. I like that. I mean, I think he's doing a great job in Philly, putting the city on his back, and have something to look forward to."
Embiid has become known for his on-court antics, holding back against no one. Asked if he felt Embiid can sometimes cross the line, Westbrook wasn't taking the bait.
"I'm not about to get into a back-and-forth with him," Westbrook said. "I'm not about to give him my energy, so I'm gonna move on from that."
All the trash talk and gesturing fittingly capped a wild game that saw the 76ers come back from as many as 17 down, including nine back with three minutes remaining. The Thunder didn't score a single point over the final 5:23 of regulation, as Westbrook went 0-for-6 in the final few minutes, which included a missed wide-open dunk and a wide-open layup. Paul George had a look from 3 to try to win the game at the buzzer, but he missed short.
"They won the game. I give them a lot of credit -- they did a lot of things. But I mean, the dude shot like 10-of-33. I wish I would've shot 33 times."Joel Embiid on Russell Westbrook
The overtime started out the Sixers' way, but a George 3 and a transition Westbrook finish erased a five-point deficit in the final minute. Dario Saric had a jumper fall short at the buzzer that could've won it. In the second overtime, Andre Roberson was wide open at the rim after Anthony found him on the baseline with six seconds remaining. Roberson turned down the shot to hit a cutting Westbrook, and he pinged it right back to Roberson, who missed point blank in the final seconds.
It was Roberson, though, in the third overtime who had the winning shot, with Westbrook going right back to him on a similar play. This time, Roberson finished the up-and-under around Embiid.
"I just told him, 'Next time, I'm gonna hit you again,'" Westbrook said. "If you're open, I'm always gonna hit you, regardless of where you're at. That's a part of my job."
It was the quintessential Westbrook game, with him playing terrific and terrible all at once. He missed 23 shots and turned it over six times. But he also recorded his 10th triple-double of the season, with 27 points, 18 rebounds and 15 assists, including a number of big jumpers in the overtime periods.
"Just keep going," Westbrook said. "You can't let your mind get lost in either you're tired, or overtime. You've got to continue to keep going."
Asked about his off shooting night -- Westbrook is shooting under 39 percent on the season, a career low -- he came back with a one-word answer.
"Win," he said, dropping the proverbial mic and ending his postgame interview.
For the Thunder, it was their sixth win in eight games, getting them back to .500 on the season as they head to New York for Anthony's return game.
"Walking in there, it'll be a little emotional," Anthony said. "Because from the standpoint, that's home. Being back in there, being on the other side, running out the other side of the tunnel, seeing people that I became close with, seeing my family that I can't really much right now because I'm in Oklahoma City, my son, my wife, seeing them, having them be there is very important. So I think it'll be a fun game, a fun night. Emotional as far as excited being back on that court."