Westbrook is good at basketball—Thunder beat Suns, 114-101

The Westbrook show did not disappoint tonight, Russ led the Thunder to a dominating home win over Phoenix. The Thunder are now 16-11 on the season. I considered this game to be must win and I guess Russ did too. This MVP race is getting pretty interesting.

Russell Westbrook breaks his career high in assists with 22, that’s also a new Thunder franchise single-game record. Russ finished the night with 26 points, 22 assists, 11 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block—his thirteenth triple-double of the season and fiftieth of his career. Those stats are as ridiculous as they sound, he did whatever he wanted tonight against Phoenix and deserves a ton of credit for how he imposed his will on this game and made his whole team better.

The Thunder scored 22 fast break points and very impressively kept Phoenix from scoring a single transition basket. Prior to tonight, the Suns were 2nd in the league at fast break points. OKC was also +14 in free throw attempts, +12 in assists and +7 in steals. That’s how you decisively win a game.

Anthony Morrow replaced Jerami Grant in the starting line-up, which for sure was the right move for Billy Donovan. The offensive flow was quite a bit smoother with A-Mo’s threat from downtown. Morrow hit 3-of-4 three-pointers and was a difference maker tonight on the offensive end. Five Thunder players scored in double-digits and Sabonis was 1 point away from all Thunder starters scoring in double-digits. Adams had a very sneaky good game with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.

Devin Booker and Tyson Chandler were the standout players for Phoenix tonight. Booker had 31 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal. This guy is still only 20 years old, OKC was one pick away from Booker being available, that’s still a little depressing. Tyson Chandler went a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and scored 10 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.

Russ took over this game from start to finish. In the first half, he only had 6 points, but scored 17 points in the third quarter alone and put this game away. The Thunder only have one NBA-level playmaker with Oladipo and Payne on the bench, but Westbrook doesn’t care. He dominated in ways that most people can’t even do in NBA 2K.

Notes

  • Per Royce Young: Westbrook with a 20-20 triple-double: 26 points, 10 rebounds and 20 assists. That’s only the fifth one (since 1983)
  • Also per Royce Young: Westbrook had the first 25-point, 20-assist game since Magic in 1988
  • Sabonis shot free throws! He got to the line four times. We can officially celebrate Christmas and the New Year. All is right in the world again.
  • Singler got 4 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist. Watch out Russ, Kyle’s coming for that MVP.
  • I really need to know Mark Cuban’s reaction to tonight’s game from Russ. Cuban has formerly said that he doesn’t consider Russ to be a superstar multiple times.
  • I still can’t wait for Payne and Oladipo to get back  on the floor. Russ might’ve gotten 30 assists tonight if they were playing.
  • Russ capped his incredible night off with a crazy Shammgod and pass for his twenty-second assist to Adams. He looked just like a ninja turtle on that play and he would 100% be Raphael.

Next up: Home against the Hawks on Monday

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