Westbrook On The Verge Of History, Records 16th Tripe-Double Of Season In Thunder Win
Thunder guard Russell Westbrook recorded his 16th triple-double of the season (26p, 12a, 11r) while his fellow all-star teammate Kevin Durant poured in 34 points of his own Monday night to propel Oklahoma over the Toronto Raptors, 119-100.
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) March 29, 2016
The win was the Thunder’s eighth straight victory and Durant’s 59th consecutive game where he has scored more than 20 points, the longest stretch of 20 plus games since Kobe Bryant had his own 63-game stretch that ran from December 9, 2005 to Noember 3, 2006.
Westbrook has been on quite a tear of his own as of late, putting up seven triple-doubles in the month of March, the most in a single month since his Airness tallied seven in April of 1989. Russell is also on pace to dethrone hall-of-fame Laker Magic Johnson for the most triple-doubles in a season (17).
Russell Westbrook recorded his 7th triple-double in March and joined some exclusive triple-double company. pic.twitter.com/qsnCHDapxp
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) March 29, 2016
“I think it’s something I never take for granted but I like winning, so regardless of what the numbers say I like to win the game and make sure my teammates feel good about themselves and figure it out from there,” Westbrook said.
Aside from the records, the Thunder showed why so many believe the top four teams in the West (Warriors, Spurs, Thunder, Clippers) are in a class of their own when it comes to the NBA’s two conferences (East, West).
The Raptors currently sit second in the Eastern conference standings–only three games behind 1st place Cleveland–and were easily outclassed by the Western conferences’ third best team.
According to ESPN, all-star point guard Kyle Lowry had his right elbow drained following Monday night’s loss. The drainage resulted from an inflammation he first experienced in Toronto’s London game back in January, and he claimed the injury wasn’t the excuse for his team’s poor performance Monday night.
“I’m not going to make excuses,” he said. “It’s definitely something I don’t want to play with and I don’t playing with but it is what it is. This time of year you just play through it.”
The Thunder meanwhile, are now 16-0 when Westbrook records a triple-double and have now split the series with the Raptors after Toronto defeated the Thunder 103-98 back on November 4 in Oklahoma City.
Thunder have 8-game winning streak & have scored 110+ Pts in each game. They're 1st team to do that since '94 Magic. pic.twitter.com/k0g3rAnbt9
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 29, 2016
Despite the fact that the previous matchup was towards the beginning of the season, the Thunder admitted that the early loss to the Raptors was something that was discussed prior to Monday’s matchup.
“We talked about that. We gave them the game out in OKC,” Durant said of the Raptors win against the Thunder back in November. “That was so long ago, but we had that in the back of our minds tonight, and we came out and responded well.”
The contest started off close, but the Thunder were able to make a run before the half, going into the intermission up 61-48.
Durant scored 10 of his 34 in the third quarter and allowed the Thunder to run out to a 25-point lead, eventually closing out the quarter with a 97-74 lead. The game never got close in the final period and the only thing left to watch was whether or not Westbrook would be able to record his 16th triple-double in the closing minutes (which he did).
The Thunder are closing out the regular-season in good form, and will look to continue their hot play tomorrow night against another Eastern Conference playoff team in Detroit (who currently sit in the eighth and final playoff spot).
Toronto goes on to hot Atlanta on Wednesday, and if anything, should be more concerned about their star point guard’s health than anything else at this point in the season.
[AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki]