Russ ties the record, Thunder beat Bucks, 110 – 79
With just under 9 and a half minutes left to play in the third quarter, Russell Westbrook grabbed the rebound off a Bucks’ miss, brought the ball up the floor and lofted a pass inside to Taj Gibson, who went up and under for the finish.
Russ recorded his 10th rebound and 10th assist in the same possession, recording his 41st triple double of the season. Number 41 tied him with the “Big O”, Oscar Robertson, for most ever in a single-season. It was also the 78th triple-double of his career, tying him for 4th all-time with Wilt Chamberlain.
Seriously, what else can be said about this guy? He is simply incredible. With five games left in the season, and currently on a 7-game triple-double streak, who’s to say he can’t get five more?
You could tell from the jump that there was something special about to happen in the arena tonight. The Thunder started out playing well on both sides of the floor, particularly on defense. The solid defense was led by none other than Andre Roberson, who had his own little block party, finishing with 3 blocks. None better than this extremely impressive swat on The Greek Freak:
This night was all about Russ tying the record, but Roberson low-key played an almost flawless game on the defensive end. He also made his presence felt on the boards, finishing with 5, and made several nice passes on his way to 4 assists.
The Thunder bench was also extremely impressive in this one. When the reserves entered the game for the first time, the Thunder had a slight lead. After a few Abrines 3’s (4-of-6 from deep with 12 points) and some solid work from Kanter down low (17 on 6-of-8 shooting), the Thunder bench had blown this one wide open as they headed into the locker room with a 24-point lead, 63 -39.
Coming out to start the third, the Thunder kept their foot on the gas. They didn’t allow the Bucks to get anything going and continued their solid play on both ends. Gibson, Oladipo and Sabonis carried the offensive load for the Thunder in the third, and with about 3 minutes to go in the quarter, the King of the Prairie made his final trek to the Thunder bench to the roar of the Thunder crowd.
The Thunder coasted through the fourth quarter and were able to let Russ get some rest as they completed their rout of the Bucks, 110-79.
- The Thunder held the Bucks to 40 points in the paint, 9 points below their season average. They were able to accomplish this by being very physical with the Milwaukee big men, playing great perimeter defense, not allowing penetration (especially from Giannis), and playing all around solid pick-and-roll defense.
- The Bucks also could not buy a bucket tonight. They are one of the more accurate shooting teams in the league, but it didn’t look like it in this one as they finished 35.8% from the field (29-of-81) and a horrid 16.7% from distance (3-of-18). Milwaukee did miss a few open ones, but the Thunder were doing a great job of contesting and closing out on shooters.
- The Thunder were +15 in the rebounding category. Everyone crashed the boards tonight as the Thunder had six different players with 5 or more rebounds. Nick Collison snagged 4 of his own in the fourth.
- The Thunder bench outscored the Bucks bench 65 to 48. They were outscoring them 33 to 18 at the half. Along with Abrines and Kanter, who I mentioned above, McDermott, Sabonis and… SEMAJ CHRISTON! all had solid nights. Semaj played one of, if not his best game of the season. It pains me to say that, as I truly don’t think he’s talented enough to get minutes for this team, but facts are facts. He played well.
- Tony Snell did a decent job on Russ the first time these two teams met, but in this one, he did not. Russ got whatever he wanted on his way to an extremely quick triple-double.
- Speaking of fast triple doubles, via ESPN:
- It was great to see Abrines get it going in the first half. He’d been shooting just 20% in his last 8 games, but went 4-of-6 in only 11 minutes.
- It wasn’t great to see this, what was apparently a left knee sprain, and he didn’t return.
- Michael Beasley will come in and get buckets on anybody. The dude is just a scorer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he’s a good, or even above average player, but he can get buckets.
- This is pretty cool:
- Doug Collins said that he wouldn’t mind if Russ and Harden won Co-MVP’s… Well, Doug, I would mind.
- Standing ovation at the ‘Peake:
Next Up: In Memphis against the Grizzlies on Wednesday at 7:00CST.