'You can't teach that!' Gritty Steven Adams outmuscles Aussie big men for huge play as Thunder pip Melbourne

Kiwi NBA star Steven Adams has played a pivotal role in the Oklahoma City Thunder's narrow win over Melbourne United, using his physical dominance to secure both baskets and rebounds at crucial times in the 86-85 win.

Adams notched a double-double late in the game at Cheasapeake Arena in Oklahoma City to finish the exhibition game with 12 points and a game-leading 10 rebounds.

The 24-year-old terrorised his Aussie rivals around the rim, amassing an unprecedented six offensive rebounds to go along with two blocks at the other end.

New star imports Paul George and Carmelo Anthony also played key roles with the pair adding 22 and 19 points each respectively.

Franchise cornerstone Russell Westbrook had a quieter outing, notching nine points, five rebounds and seven assists in his first full game of the pre-season.

Melbourne had a chance to win the game with the final possession of the match but a pair of clutch blocks in the final five seconds by role player Josh Huestis ensured OKC came away with the win.

The Thunder play one more pre-season game against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday at 2pm NZT before opening their season against the New York Knicks next Friday.