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Russell Westbrook posts 26th triple-double of season as Oklahoma City Thunder defeat Brooklyn Nets

Thursday 14 March 2019 07:06, UK

Paul George and Russell Westbrook celebrate during the Thunder's win against Brooklyn 2:50
Russell Westbrook supplied a triple-double to power the Oklahoma City Thunder to victory over the Brooklyn Nets

Russell Westbrook posted his 26th triple-double of the season to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to victory over the Brooklyn Nets.

Westbrook, playing in his first game since being fined for his profane reaction to verbal abuse he received from a Utah Jazz fan, did all of his talking on the court, supplying 31 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists to power the Thunder to a 108-96 victory.

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Westbrook has suffered a prolonged shooting slump this season but his aim was true against Brooklyn as he made an efficient 12 of his 23 field goals, including 4-of-8 from three-point range.

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The Thunder got off to a sluggish start and trailed 11-1 after four minutes of the first quarter. Westbrook hauled them back into the game with a three from the top of the key and an acrobatic finish at the rim to thwart to attentions of Nets center Jarrett Allen.

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He showcased his all-round game in the third, smartly setting up team-mate Steven Adams for a jump hook then breaking up an attempted Brooklyn alley-oop under his own basket.

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Westbrook's fourth-quarter drive into the heart of the Nets defense set up Nerlens Noel for an easy deuce that gave the Thunder a three-point lead. He then set up Adams for two alley-oop dunks that extended the lead to seven.

Wednesday night's scores

  • Golden State Warriors 106-104 Houston Rockets
  • Brooklyn Nets 96-108 Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Utah Jazz 114-97 Phoenix Suns
  • Detroit Pistons 74-108 Miami Heat
  • Orlando Magic 90-100 Washington Wizards
  • Memphis Grizzlies 111-132 Atlanta Hawks

With 4:51 remaining, Westbrook iced the game, collecting the ball during an untidy possession, taking one step behind the three-point line and drilling a triple that took the Thunder's lead into double figures.

Speaking after the game, Westbrook said: "My job is to bring the energy every night. The [sluggish] first half was my fault, but we did a good job picking it up in the second half.

Russell Westbrook Oklahoma City Thunder 0:44
Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook said he was to blame for his team's low first-half energy but added the Thunder did a good job of raising those levels in the second half to beat Brooklyn

The Thunder guard praised the performance of his team-mate Paul George, who has struggled with his shooting since returning from a shoulder injury. Westbrook said: "It was great [to see him get back on a roll], especially at home, and get his rhythm back. He's been playing an MVP season all year long and he's going to continue that for us."

Click the video at the top of the page to watch Westbrook's stellar all-round display.

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