Russell Westbrook Joins Magic Johnson On Elite List After 20 Assists
The OKC Thunder entered Wednesday night’s contest against the Los Angeles Clippers on ESPN with a 3-6 record after this year's All-Star break. Fresh off of receiving the news about Dion Waiters’ brother Demetrius Pickney’s death, the third surrounding the team within the past month, Thunder took the court with heavy hearts yet again.
Russell Westbrook went off against the Clippers posting 25 points, 20 assists, and 11 rebounds. The first game with such a stat line, although adding one more board, since his childhood hoops idol Magic Johnson in 1988 finishing with 25, 20, and 10. Westbrook now has 11 triple-doubles on the year which matches him with Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors for the most this season. Russell not only recorded a career high in assists with 20, but surpassed his previous career high of 18 assists… which is incredible.
Kevin Durant posted his seventh straight double-double in points and rebounds, all but one with 30+ points (scoring 27 in that contest). Durant ties his childhood hoops hero Larry Bird with consecutive games recording 25 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists.
The theme for OKC this season has been consistent collapsing when heading into the final quarter with a lead. Philadelphia and Oklahoma City are in the same category when it comes to blowing leads fourth quarter leads (10+) and that is not a good thing. Just six days ago to this matchup Thunder blew a 22-point lead (17 in the fourth) against the same Clippers squad in Los Angeles on TNT.
Bolstered by their two All-Stars, Oklahoma City got the production they needed from the two. Stellar, amazing, and historic are a couple of understating terms to describe their performances. Thunder was able to defeat the Clippers in a 120-108 win at home and advance to 44-20 while LAC dropped to 41-22. OKC remains in the third spot of the Western Conference standings and Los Angeles stays in spot number four.