Russell Westbrook’s Triple-Double Too Much For Warriors


127. 149. Final. 115. 41

They’re baaaack.

When the Oklahoma City Thunder are clicking like the were tonight, they are one of the best teams in the league.

After a lackluster performance in Houston last night, Kevin Durant was on a mission to make sure that did not happen again. “We have to start the games better,” Durant told “That’s on me as a leader. We have to start better. I can’t afford to come in here and say that after every game.”

The Thunder got off to a hot start thanks to Durant, who poured in 21 points while shooting 9-11 from the field in the first half.

Even with how well the Thunder were playing, they still found themselves trailing 51-47 midway through the second quarter. But, thanks in large part to a small lineup, OKC was able to close the first half on a 22-9 run, which included this tip by Russell Westbrook to end the half.

Durant continued his incredibly efficient night in the second half, and he finished with 36 points and nine rebounds while shooting 14-of-18 from the field. But oddly enough, Durant was not the closer for OKC tonight. That mission was accomplished by the duo of Westbrook and Serge Ibaka.

Ibaka had 14 points in the fourth quarter, en route to 27 points, tying his career high. He also had eight rebounds, five of them offensive boards. Westbrook’s play in the fourth quarter could not have been more opposite than it was in late December, when he was being criticized for not passing in crunch time. He had eight assists in the fourth quarter alone. He had his ninth career triple-double with 17 points, 17 assists, and 15 rebounds as well as four steals.

Things got a little tight for the Thunder when the Warriors closed their lead to 101-97 just a few minutes in. But that is when Ibaka and Westbrook took over. Ibaka scored two straight buckets to give the Thunder some breathing room. After Dion Waiters and Durant each made a basket, the Thunder were once again in command of the game, and cruised to the finish line.

This team has given fans plenty of reasons to doubt them over the last two weeks. But, tonight shows why you should still have faith in them. When they are dialed in, they can be really, really good.

Stars of the Game:

OKC Thunder: Russell Westbrook: He had a career-high 17 assists to go with 17 points and 15 rebounds. He did not leave any part of the stat sheet bare tonight.

Golden State Warriors: Klay Thompson: He finished with 32 points, four rebounds and four assists while going 12-22 from the floor. He showed tonight why he is widely considered one of the best shooting guards in the game.

Stat of the game: According to Basketball Reference, here is a list of guys with at least 17 points, 17 assists and 15 rebounds in a game: Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo, Jason Kidd (twice) and Magic Johnson. However, Westbrook became the only player in NBA history to ever do so in under 40 minutes (he played 36).

Tweet of the Game:

"Thunder Bolts"

  • Westbrook got a dunkers roll tonight.
  • Waiters has scored in double figures in three straight games. He only did that once in Cleveland this year. He had 21 points tonight.
  • Andre Roberson had a plus/minus of minus 14 tonight. Waiters was plus 18.
  • The Thunder gave Stephen Curry fits tonight. He was hounded by both Westbrook and Durant. His struggles reflected in the box score, as he only had 19 points, six assists and six turnovers.
  • Curry was 0-4 with four turnovers while being guarded by Durant in the second quarter.
  • Anthony Morrow finally snapped out of his slump tonight. He had 12 points and went 2-3 from downtown.
  • Next Up: The Magic in Orlando.

More from Thunderous Intentions