Russell Westbrook’s triple double leads Thunder past Wizards
OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook doesn't feel comfortable taking credit for his triple-doubles.
The Thunder guard had his seventh of the season, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Washington Wizards 114–98 on Monday night.
Westbrook had 17 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists and got the best of his matchup with Washington point guard John Wall. It was the 26th triple-double of Westbrook's career, and he has two straight and four in his past 10 games.
The Thunder improved to 22–4 when Westbrook accomplishes the feat.
"It means that my teammates do a great job of getting open, creating lanes where I'm able to be effective, and I'm trying to find ways to get those guys the basketball and trying to play my game," he said.
Kevin Durant scored 28 points and Serge Ibaka added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunder, who have won 11 of 12.
Wizards coach Randy Wittman missed the game following his brother's death last Friday.
Bradley Beal came off the bench to score 18 points, Wall had 17 points and eight assists and Marcin Gortat scored 17 points for Washington, which has lost four of five.
Westbrook scored the first two baskets of the game by posting up against Wall to set the tone.
"I just try to come out on the post, use it to my advantage," Westbrook said. "That's something I try to do every night."
Oklahoma City shot 55 percent in the first half to take a 64–52 lead. Durant scored 18 points and Westbrook had 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists before the break.
A technical was called on Durant at the end of the first half for disapproving of a no-call, so the Wizards scored their first point of the second half on a free throw before the clock even started.
The Wizards cut Oklahoma City's lead to six early in the third quarter, but the Thunder maintained control. A three-point play by Durant pushed the Thunder back ahead 79-67.
Westbrook clinched his triple-double on an assist to Enes Kanter for a baseline jumper, and the Thunder led 92-76 at the end of the third quarter.
Wizards assistant coach Don Newman, who stepped on for Wittman, said Durant and Westbrook stopped his team from rallying every time.
"They know how to get it back, and they didn't want to lose," Newman said. "Every time we would try to gain, they would just put it in. They shoot that ball, and they shoot it great. And we didn't."
Westbrook has at least 10 assists in eight of his past 10 games. During that stretch, he is averaging 20.8 points, 11.6 assists and 9.2 rebounds per game while shooting 46 percent from the field.
ON THE RISE
Kanter has seen a spike in production lately. He scored 14 points on Monday. In his past three games, he is averaging 19.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, up from his season averages of 11.8 points and 7.6 rebounds.
Newman on the Thunder outrebounding the Wizards 53-27: "They just got one after another. They beat us to the ball all night. That's what happened."
Wizards: Wittman also will miss a game Wednesday night against the Golden State Warriors. ... Made 21 of 33 points inside the 3-point arc in the first half. ... Made just 7 of 26 3-pointers overall.
Thunder: G Andre Roberson is expected to be out for at least a few more weeks with a right knee sprain. ... Durant was named the Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday. ... Backup point guard Cameron Payne returned after missing Friday's game against Houston with a concussion. ... Westbrook made his first five shots. ... The Thunder have scored at least 100 points in eight straight games.
Wizards host Warriors on Wednesday night.
Thunder host Magic on Wednesday night.