Russell Wesbrook Scores Career-High 58 Points In Thunder’s 126-121 Loss To Blazers
Russell Westbrook Has Career-high 58 Points in Thunder Loss to Blazers
The game marked the Blazers’ third straight victory and the Thunder’s fourth consecutive loss.
Seven Portland players scored in double digits, including Allen Crabe, who had 23, Damian Lillard, who had 22, and C.J. McCollum, who had 21.
”We’re not good enough to take nights off defensively,” Westbrook said.
Westbrook shot 21 of 39, but just 6 of 15 in the fourth quarter. He entered the game as the NBA leader in points and plus/minus score in the final five minutes of regulation and overtime.
The veteran point guard also recorded nine assists and made 13 of 16 free throws.
”He’s incredible,” Blazers center Meyers Leonard said. ”With that being said, sometimes, it becomes a one-man show. Now, he’s capable of that, but I think it’s to our credit, from top to bottom, that we had a lot of guys contribute.”
Victor Oladipo and Enes Kanter added 16 and 11 respectively for the Thunder, which had won four straight before its losing streak. Oklahoma City shot 52 percent.
Westbrook scored 28 points in the first half to give Oklahoma City a 67-61 lead. The Thunder shot 68 percent before the break.
Porltand outscored Oklahoma City 38-25 in the third quarter to gain a 99-92 lead into the fourth.
The Blazers pushed their lead to 12 early in the fourth quarter, and led 106-97 when Westbrook returned from a rest. The Thunder rallied to tie it at 116, but Portland center Jusuf Nurkic scored in close twice to put the Blazers ahead 120-116.
Westbrook missed a 3 with Oklahoma City trailing 122-119, and Nurkic scored two free throws with 9.8 seconds left. Westbrook then scored a quick layup to trim the deficit to three again with 4.5 seconds remaining. Lillard then made two free throws with 1.4 seconds left to seal the victory.
”We were sharing the ball,” Leonard said. ”We believed in what we were doing. We believed in each other, and that was key, especially when it comes down to the end of the game, trusting the next guy. This was a very big win for us.”
Portland forward Evan Turner sat out with a right hand injury.
Oladipo returned to the Thunder’s starting lineup after missing six games with back spasms. Oklahoma City’s 40 points in the first quarter were a season high for any quarter.
When asked if the Thunder needed to be patient after acquiring three new players through trades, Westbrook said: ”We don’t really have time for that this time of year, where you’ve got to be playing your best basketball and figuring out how you want to move forward.”
The Trail Blazers next host Philadelphia on Thursday, when the Thunder host the San Antonio Spurs.
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 28: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder dribbles up court against the New York Knicks during the first half at Madison Square Garden on November 28, 2016 in New York City.