Latest blog articles
NBA: Westbrook's 17th triple-double leads Thunder win
Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook notched his 17th triple-double of the season Saturday, leading the Thunder to a 121-106 home win over the Denver Nuggets.
Westbrook, who leads the NBA in scoring and is averaging a triple-double, produced 32 points, 17 rebounds and 11 assists in the 54th triple-double of his career.
His seven three-pointers were one shy of the career-high eight he delivered in a loss to Houston on Thursday, but the fiery point guard had plenty of help from the Thunder's big men in the convincing win over the short-handed Nuggets.
"I think on both ends of the floor, we decided to go big," Thunder reserve center Enes Kanter of Turkey said. "And we did an amazing job on both ends. Not just offensively. Both ends we put matchup pressure on them."
Oklahoma City's Kiwi center Steven Adams added 16 points and four blocked shots for a Thunder team that out-scored the Nuggets in the paint 56-48.
Reserve Wilson Chandler paced the Nuggets with 24 points, but scored just five in the second half.
"They went big," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. "And we had no answers for the big guys."
Malone said the absences of Nikola Jokic and Gary Harris made a difference.
"Obviously Gary Harris would have been a key guy to try and guard Russell Westbrook," he said. "And obviously, offensively, we only had 18 assists tonight. With Jokic out and we play through him so much, that he is able to generate some easy looks for us. But our guys competed. We played hard."
- Spurs notch 30th win -
In San Antonio, rookie reserve forward Davis Bertans of Latvia scored a career-high 21 points as the Spurs posted their 30th win of the season, 102-85 over the Charlotte Hornets.
Bertans, who has averaged 2.6 points in 9.6 minutes per game, scored eight points in a crucial stretch late in the third quarter that saw the Spurs break out of a 60-60 tie to take a 73-64 lead into the fourth period.
Kawhi Leonard finished with 19 in the victory. LaMarcus Aldridge had 15 points, 12 in the second half, and pulled down 11 rebounds for San Antonio, who have won three straight and seven of their last eight.
The Atlanta Hawks extended their unbeaten run to six games with a 97-82 victory over the Mavericks in Dallas.
And the Boston Celtics won their fourth straight with another display of long-range fireworks.
The Celtics drained 18 three-pointers in a 117-108 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. They have made 71 three-pointers in their four-game winning streak.
- Butler's big night -
Another big night for Chicago's Jimmy Butler helped the Bulls erase a 19-point deficit in a 123-118 overtime victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Butler scored 42 points -- his second 40-plus point performance this week after a 52-point outburst against Charlotte.
Veteran Dwyane Wade added 20 points for the Bulls, and Doug McDermott added 17 off the bench.
The Bulls trailed 61-48 at halftime and 86-74 going into the fourth quarter.
Butler contributed 10 points in the fourth period as the Bulls forced overtime -- his late-game heroics coming as no surprise to his teammates.
"There's no doubt about it, there's a swagger about him," Wade said. "He wants it."
The Utah Jazz also rallied from a double-digit deficit, downing the Minnesota Timberwolves 94-92 in Minneapolis.
Utah's George Hill had a team-high 19 points and French big man Rudy Gobert provided what proved the game-winner when he tipped in a miss with 27.5 seconds remaining.
"We just wanted it," Gobert said. "We knew we didn't play well all game, but we knew we had to get stops and keep playing to the end, and that's what we did."