OKC Thunder avoids upset ax, rallies late to turn back Embiid-led Philadelphia Sixers
Russell Westbrook was one assist shy from notching a triple-double in OKC's win over Philadelphia. AP

RUSSELL Westbrook recorded a near triple double in a 103-97 victory on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time) against the Philadelphia 76ers in the Oklahoma City Thunder's first game without departed star Kevin Durant.

Westbrook finished with 32 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists for OKC in front of the 76ers home crowd at the Wells Fargo Center. Back up center Enes Kanter had 17 points and 12 rebounds. Steven Adams had 16 points while Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova each added 10 points for the Thunder which outrebounded the Sixers 53-43.

Three years after he was drafted, center Joel Embiid finally made his NBA debut, scoring 20 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Point guard Sergio Rodriguez had nine assists and 12 points. Reserve Nik Stauskas added 13 points.  

The Thunder were down six at the end of the third quarter before going on a 34-22 tear in the 4th. 

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