2019 NBA All-Star Game
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook sat alone on the Thunder bench some 15 minutes before tipoff Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers, with a basketball between his legs, singing and dancing along to Nipsey Hussle's "Grindin' All My Life," intent on playing a game to honor the recently slain rapper.

After he recorded the second 20-20-20 game in NBA history -- posting 20 points, 20 rebounds and 21 assists -- Westbrook walked off the floor following a 119-103 win with a heavy heart, having dedicated the performance to his friend.

"That's for Nipsey!" Westbrook yelled as he slapped his chest.

The Thunder have been mired in a rut since the All-Star break, and they were desperate for not just a win, but a good performance against the Lakers. Westbrook and George set a tone early, with George picking off passes and throwing down a reverse 360 dunk and another flashy two-hander in the first quarter, while Westbrook dished out 10 assists in the opening 12 minutes.

Assuming he plays in the Thunder's final four regular-season games, Westbrook needs just three assists to secure his third consecutive season averaging a triple-double. He posted his 31st triple double of the season on Tuesday.

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