Triple-Double For Russ, Thunder Crush Philly
By Randy Renner
Thunder 3-time All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook only played a few seconds more than 20 minutes Tuesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers but he certainly made the most of his time on the court.
Westbrook recorded the fastest triple-double in the NBA in almost 60 years with 13 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds.
"It's crazy, I'm just trying to get my groove back," Westbrook said in the Thunder lockerroom. "It's crazy to be able to do that in such a short amount of time, but it was fun."
Only Jim Tucker who played for the old Syracuse Nationals got one quicker. It only took him 17 minutes to post one against New York in 1955.
"A triple-double in 20 minutes? That's just incredible basketball," marveled Thunder head coach Scott Brooks. "He's a special player. He does a great job of getting us into our sets. He set the tone."
And he impressed the Sixers coach too. Brett Brown has seen plenty of Westbrook over the years, he was an assistant in San Antonio.
"He's just physically so gifted and he is so competitive, you know there's a, and I say this respectfully, there's an angry competitor that wills his way into doing stuff," Brown said, "and you saw those physical abilities along with just such a strong mind, it's a powerful combination."
It's the second time this season and the eighth time in his career that Westbrook has picked up a triple-double.
Thunder 5-time All-Star Kevin Durant had a pretty good night himself with 42 points on 14-for-20 shooting.
It's the 10th time this season KD has scored at least 40 points, the next closest player (Carmelo Anthony) has just done it five times.
As Brooks promised Caron Butler made his Thunder debut, playing almost 26 minutes. He just scored two points on 1-for-4 shooting but he grabbed five rebounds, blocked a shot and stole the ball.
"The thing I liked is he went out there and he played basketball the correct way," Brooks said. "If he had a shot he took it and if he had a pass, he passed it. I liked what I saw and obviously he's going to get more comfortable with what we do."
Perry Jones, making his second straight start in place of the injured Thabo Sefolosha had a fine night with 12 points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Keep playing like that and he'll keep that spot till Thabo gets back.
And the Thunder defense was as dominant as its ever been, holding Philly to just 34.0 percent shooting, a new season-low for the Thunder "D".
No question the 76ers aren't very good (15 straight losses now) but the Thunder have looked bad playing other bad teams and they looked great tonight.
They'll practice Wednesday then fly to Phoenix for Thursday night's game with the Suns.
I'll be at practice tomorrow so click back for an update.