Russell Westbrook notched his 26th triple-double of the season and his Oklahoma City Thunder beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, 118-109 on Thursday night. This was Westbrook’s 63rd triple-double in his career as he outdueled Cavs star point guard Kyrie Irving in the fourth quarter.
Westbrook struggled for 11-of-27 from the field but still scored 29 points. The OKC superstar added 12 rebounds and 11 assists but had seven turnovers. Irving finished with a team-high 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting but he also had six of the Cavaliers’ 16 team turnovers. Westbrook struggled shooting early in the game but found his rhythm in the middle of the second quarter.
Westbrook outduels Irving in fourth
The Oklahoma City Thunder threatened to pull away both in the first and second halves but each time the Cavaliers rallied to make the game close. The Cavs were down 12 in the first half but took the 57-55 halftime lead. The OKC Thunder led by eight points near the end of the third quarter but the Cavs made another run and tied the game at 99-99 with 5:46 to go in the game.
But Westbrook made back-to-back baskets and had another to give the Thunder the 107-101 lead with 3:43 left. Westbrook had an assist and steal to seal the victory for OKC.
Both the Cavaliers and Thunder did not play much defense on this night with both squads shooting about 48% from the field. The Thunder outrebounded the Cavs, 51-3 and 17-5 on the offensive rebounding department.
Adams, Oladipo give Westbrook support
Steven Adams had a great offensive game with 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting. The Kiwi center added 13 rebounds and 2 blocks. Victor Oladipo contributed 23 points and 7 rebounds while Cameron Payne finished with 15 points off the bench.
For the losing side, Kevin Love had a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds. LeBron had 18 points on 8-of-19 shooting with 7 assists. Derrick Williams, who was signed to a 10-day contract, added 12 points of the bench.
The OKC Thunder have won three of their last four games before their marquee match-up against the Golden State Warriors in their next game. This is the first time Westbrook and the OKC will host former Thunder Kevin Durant. The Warriors won both home games earlier in the season via blowouts.
The Cavaliers had a four-game winning streak. Cleveland will host the Denver Nuggets then visit the Minnesota Timberwolves in their next two games.
Photo Courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia