Westbrook 43pts Triple-Double Leads Thunder Over Jazz
OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook started hot shooting the ball on his way to collecting 43 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to collect his 30th triple-double of the season and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Utah Jazz 109-106 on Tuesday night.
Westbrook, who scored a season-high 18 points in the first quarter, shot 13-for-28 from the floor, also hit six 3-pointers and made 11-of-12 from the free throw line.
“They made a fight,” Westbrook admitted after the game. “They’re a great team.
“I thought we did a good job of keeping our composure and executing down the stretch.”
Doug McDermott made four 3-pointers and shot 6-for-11 on his way to scoring 16 points with five rebounds, while Enes Kanter added 15 points and nine rebounds and Alex Abrines ended with 11 points for the Thunder (35-25), who improved to 23-8 at home this season.
Gordon Hayward scored 19 points to lead six Jazz players scoring in double-digits.
Rodney Hood finished with 18 points and six rebounds, while George Hill scored 15 points and dished out eight assists in the defeat for Utah, who saw its lead in the Northwest Division standings trimmed to two games.
Rudy Gobert added 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Joe Johnson and Alec Burks scored 13 points apiece for the Jazz (37-23), who had their three-game winning streak stopped.
Oklahoma City led 86-75 entering the fourth quarter and increased the advantage to 13 points on Doug McDermott driving layup with 9:29 remaining.
However, Utah stormed back to take a 97-96 lead with 2:47 left and then went out to 106-102 with 48 seconds left on the clock.
Westbrook connected on a 24-foot 3-pointer to trim the deficit to one point before making the go-ahead bucket with 15 seconds remaining to seal the win, as Hayward missed a 3-point jumper at the buzzer for the Jazz.
“Many years, that was our problem — being able to execute and get the shots we wanted to,” Westbrook said.
“I think that’s a part of my job, is to make sure we execute down the stretch.”
The Thunder shot 51.3 percent and made 15 3-pointers for 68.2 percent from long-range.
“You just keep getting those guys shots,” Westbrook said. “The ball will find the shooter, and I think guys are doing a tremendous job of making the right plays, getting those guys open shots.”
The All-Star guard and one of the leading MVP candidates this season, also revealed Oklahoma City will be tough to beat when the 3-pointers are falling its way.
“It puts teams in a tough spot because they have to help, and we have great shooters around the perimeter,” he said.
“Those guys can knock down shots, and we have great bigs that run the floor and can catch and finish.”