You just can't stop Russ.
Russell Westbrook recorded another triple-double with 36 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 123-115 win over the Atlanta Hawks Friday night.
It was rough once again for OKC, playing without mainstays Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka, but the team pulled through in the fourth quarter. Before the game, Westbrook said that his team needed to be (committed) defensively. “We have to lock in and be able to take ownership in what we do as a team and what we do when we're on the floor,” said the Thunder star. “We have to play together.”
Well, that's exactly what they did. The Thunder came out hot taking a 13-7 lead early in the first, after scoring six consecutive buckets.
OKC continued to rack up points in transition and in the paint. The high percentage shots played a major role in the team's early success on the court.
Dion Waiters was on fire, scoring 10 points in the first nine minutes of the game, giving OKC a 24-21 lead. Westbrook then went on to extend his team's lead with a deep one from behind the arc. By the two-minute mark, the Thunder was dominating the paint, 20-6.
After a couple 3-pointers from Westbrook, the Hawks scored 10points down the stretch to steal the lead, 35-34 at the end of the first quarter.
Westbrook almost gave the Thunder the lead before the buzzer, blazing down the court in three seconds, but got the shot off too late. Three seconds, now that's fast!
Before the first quarter, OKC head coach Scott Brooks stated that Atlanta would keep moving around until they found an open spot. That's exactly what the Hawks did, hitting nine 3-pointers to carry a 68-61 lead into halftime.
Westbrook ended the first half with some big numbers: 19 points, six rebounds and seven assists. Waiters tallied 16 points, and the two led the Thunder throughout the first 24 minutes.
After the half, Atlanta expanded its lead to 12 (75-63). The Thunder couldn't shut down the Hawks 3-point game (11-of-21 before the 7:20 mark). OKC simply couldn't shut down Paul Millsap and Pero Antic on the perimeter.
Nick Collisin later went on to sink a 3-pointer off an assist from Westbrook, cutting Atlanta's lead to just five. The assist helped Westbrook record another double-double on the season (19p-6r-10a). Soon after, Collison scored his 11th point with two minutes remaining in the period, pulling OKC within five points of the Hawks (95-90).
It was do or die in the fourth, as Westbrook came out repeatedly pushing the ball into the paint.
OKC then rallied to outscore the Hawks 12-2 in two minutes, taking a 108-105 lead. In the process, Westbrook recorded his ninth triple-double of the season with his 10th rebound. Anthony Morrow caught fire from 3-point range, finishing with 21 points, while Collison and Steven Adams were doing work under the bucket.
The Thunder ended the game on a 27-12 run.