Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook had little to say about one of the best performances of his career, a triple-double against the NBA’s top team, the Golden State Warriors.
Westbrook scored 17 points, had a career-high 17 assists and matched a career best with 15 rebounds to help the Oklahoma City win, 127-115, at home on Friday night. It was his first triple-double of the season and ninth of his career.
Westbrook, who has become increasingly short with the media, delivered mostly one-line answers about his effort, focusing on the team’s good execution.
Kevin Durant, who scored 36 points on 14-of-18 shooting, didn’t get too worked up about it, either.
“I don’t want to downplay his performance, but Russ can do that whenever,” Durant said. “He doesn’t really get too excited over great games because he has so many of them. It was a tremendous game, I think, as far as controlling it, playing defense, rebounding.”
Thunder Coach Scott Brooks was impressed with his point guard, who had eight assists and six rebounds in the fourth quarter to help the Thunder pull away.
“I thought Russell was all over the floor,” Brooks said. “I thought there was two of him out there, the way he was rebounding and moving our offense forward.”
The loss ended an eight-game winning streak for the Warriors, who were playing without center Andrew Bogut and forward Andre Iguodala so the veterans could rest.
“They’re great in this building,” Golden State Coach Steve Kerr said. “They have one of the best home records the last five years here. It’s always tough to play here. I’m not disappointed with our effort tonight, but our focus just wasn’t what it was these last eight games when we were winning.”
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
Mo zones out
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Mo Williams was “in the zone” against Indiana, dropping a career-high 52 points and letting the Pacers know they had no chance of stopping him Tuesday night. “I was telling [the Pacers’] C.J. Watson during the game, I said, ‘Hey, man, ain’t nothing ya’ll can do today. Don’t even worry about it,’ ” Williams said. “He just shook his head. He was just like, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’m shooting it like it’s the Pacific [Ocean] today.’ I just kind of knew I had it going.”
Blaming the coach?
NBA players don’t blame their coaches for their shooting woes, do they? Well, it seems they do in Brooklyn — at least that’s the way Nets Coach Lionel Hollins sees things. “Maybe I’m the problem. I don’t know. But I don’t shoot them…I’m sure that behind closed doors — without a microphone on — some players say I’m the problem, the reason they can’t shoot.”
Old Man Game
When Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan played in his first game Wednesday night after missing 21 because of a groin injury, his coach joked about the state of his once high-flying All-Star’s game. “I told him he’s playing like an old man,” Toronto Coach Dwane Casey joked. “You know, the slow man’s game when you’re not getting too high off the floor. That’s where he is in his career now. He’s smart, he’s under control and he brings a calming effect to our team.”
GAME OF THE WEEK
Chicago at Cleveland
When: Monday, 4:30 PST. TV: TNT
It will be just the second meeting this season between the teams that haven’t really lived up to the hype of being the ones to beat in the Eastern Conference. Both teams’ stars, Chicago’s Derrick Rose (knee, hip) and Cleveland’s LeBron James (knee, lower back) have missed games because of injuries. But it’s still a big game between the Central Division rivals. The Cavaliers won the first game in October, 114-108.