RUSSELL Westbrook took the San Antonio Spurs out of his triple-double list as he tied the mark for the second-most triple-doubles in a single season after leading the Oklahoma City Thunder out of a four-game slump with a huge win, 102-92, at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).
Westbrook had his 31st triple-double this season, tied for the second highest mark in a single playing year held by Wilt Chamberlain, with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists. It was his first triple-double against the Spurs, and only the Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Hornets are the remaining teams who have denied the Thunder guard the feat so far in his career.
The explosive OKC star, though, found ample support in ending the Spurs nine-game win run, even with well-rested San Antonio gunners Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge on the floor.
A 15-4 run to start the second quarter gave OKC an early 12-point edge and set the tone the rest of the way, with the Thunder showing a more balanced attack to fend off every rally by the Spurs. When Danny Green’s triple got San Antonio within five early in the third, Victor Oladipo answered with consecutive treys. New recruit Doug McDermott hit a three to cap another 9-2 run and push the Thunder lead to 13 when the Spurs threatened to come closer late in the third.
Westbrook left no room for a Spurs comeback from the midway point of the fourth quarter, and San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich threw in the towel after pulling out his starters with the Thunder up 100-82 with over three minutes left to play.
Oladipo finished with 20 points, while Enes Kanter and McDermott scored 14 and 11, respectively, off the bench for the Thunder (36-29).
Leonard led the Spurs (50-14) with 19 points, while Pau Gasol scored 18 off the bench. Aldridge added 17 markers.