Westbrook records triple-double in Thunder win over Sixers
(The Sports Xchange) - Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook overcame an ankle issue in the first quarter to score a triple double in a 102-85 victory over the winless Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.
It was a second triple-double of the season for Westbrook, who recorded 21 points, a career-high 17 rebounds and 11 assists to cover for the absence of leading scorer Kevin Durant, who missed the first of an expected five games with a strained hamstring.
Thunder coach Billy Donovan said he had come close to pulling Westbrook early.
"I said 'Do you want to come out?' and he kind of nodded and then when I went to put someone in, he said 'No, no, I'm fine'," Donovan said. "After that, I didn't ask him any more about it."
Visiting Philadelphia (0-9) took the game to Oklahoma City, jumping out to a 24-18 lead after the first quarter as forwards Nerlens Noel and Christian Wood each scored six points.
The Thunder grabbed the lead for good midway through the second quarter with an 8-0 run. Forward Nick Collison finished the spurt with a tip-in to give Oklahoma City its biggest advantage of the half at 39-32.
The Thunder led by four at halftime, but the Sixers refused to fold, closing the gap every time Oklahoma City threatened to pull away.
Philadelphia's last charge brought the Sixers within 62-61 before Westbrook took over. He led the Thunder on a 9-0 run to end the third quarter, scoring three straight buckets, including one on a spectacular steal and dunk.
That helped the Thunder (6-3) end the third quarter with a 71-61 advantage, and they went on to wrap up their third straight win and 12th in a row over Philadelphia. Continued...