Westbrook has another triple-double, Thunder beat Spurs
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oscar Robertson is the only player ever to have more triple-doubles in a season than Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook had his 31st triple-double of the season to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs 102-92 on Thursday night. He had 23 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists to match Wilt Chamberlain's 1967-68 campaign for the second-most in a season.
Robertson had 41 during the 1961-62 season. Westbrook said he is honored to be among the greats.
"It's a blessing, man," he said. "You come out every night and compete and try to compete at a high level. Whenever you are mentioned with guys like that, it's always a blessing. I don't take it for granted."
Victor Oladipo scored 20 points, and Enes Kanter added 14 points and 10 rebounds to help the Thunder snap a four-game losing streak.
"It means that we're on the right track," Westbrook said. "Obviously, throughout seasons, there's times when you go through adversity. The strongest teams stick together through adversity, and tonight, we were able to stick together."
Kawhi Leonard scored 19 points for the Spurs, but he took a hit in the head and neck area on a drive to the hoop by Oladipo in the third quarter, and he didn't play in the fourth quarter. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was unsure how serious the injury was.
"He got hit in the mouth, or in the cheek, or in the head or something," Popovich said. "I'm not sure which. So the trainer thought he should sit."
Popovich wouldn't Leonard's injury for his team's winning streak ending at nine games.
"They beat us anyway," he said. "If Kawhi would have played in the fourth, if they would have continued to do what they were doing and we continued to do what we were doing, they would have won anyway. We never make excuses. We got our butts kicked."
Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Kyle Anderson sat out for the Spurs. Ginobili rested, Parker had back stiffness and Anderson had a sprained right knee.
San Antonio dropped two games behind the Golden State Warriors in the race for the best record in the NBA. The Spurs host the Warriors on Saturday.
Westbrook scored 15 points in the first half, and the Thunder led 56-49 at the break. Pau Gasol had 16 points in the half for the Spurs.
Oladipo hit two 3-pointers and converted a 3-point play during a run that helped the Thunder take a 73-63 lead. Oklahoma City led 82-71 at the end of the third quarter.
Westbrook clinched the triple-double on a rebound with 7:17 to play. He made a 3-pointer with just under six minutes remaining to push the lead to 96-80. An alley-oop pass from Westbrook to Oladipo put the Thunder up 18 with just over three minutes left.
- Spurs: G Danny Green went scoreless in the first half and didn't take a shot in 17:31. He finished with nine points. ... Green and Thunder center Steven Adams were called for double technical fouls after exchanging shoves in the third quarter.
- Thunder: Domantas Sabonis, a rookie, came off the bench for the first time in his NBA career. He gave the team a spark with a poster dunk over Dewayne Dedmon in the second quarter. ... Semaj Christon regained his No. 2 point guard spot from Norris Cole. ... F Taj Gibson got his first start as a Thunder player in Sabonis' place
- The Thunder are 25-6 this season when Westbrook gets a triple-double, and 43-6 the past two seasons.
- Popovich, on why the Spurs lost: "In general, they were the most aggressive team, and nine out of 10 times, that's what wins basketball games, besides making shots and not making mistakes."
- The Spurs host Golden State on Saturday.
- The Thunder host Utah on Saturday.
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