RUSSELL Westbrook made up for his poor shooting and error-prone outing with clutch baskets as the Oklahoma City Thunder held on to beat the Los Angeles Clippers, 85-83, to remain the only unbeaten team in the Western Conference at Staples Center on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time).
Westbrook had his hands all over the Thunder’s late push as OKC closed out the game with a 9-5 run after trailing 76-78 following a Chris Paul jumper at the 5:48 mark. The Thunder star dished the assist on a Domantas Sabonis triple to give them the lead, before Westbrook scored their last six points to seal the win.
The Thunder guards, though, almost cost the game after Westbrook and Andre Roberson came up empty from their respective trips to the stripe with under 40 seconds left.
OKC was humming early as Westbrook had 16 in the first half to take a 49-41 lead at the break. But Paul bucked a bloodied nose, after getting hit by Nick Collison’s elbow in the second quarter, to team up with Blake Griffin in the third quarter to push the Clippers up, 66-65, entering the fourth period thanks to a Brandon Bass 35-foot buzzer beater.
Westbrook led all scorers with 35, 11 in the fourth quarter, but shot 14-of-30 from the floor to go with 10 turnovers. No other OKC player scored in double digits as Victor Oladipo came close with nine.
Paul was one assist shy from finishing with a triple double as he had 15 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists to go with six steals. Griffin and Mo Speights each had 14 markers for the Clippers.