On a night when Russell Westbrook became the second player in NBA history to secure a seasonal triple-double average, the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder were overwhelmed by an energetic Phoenix Suns squad, 120-99.
Further, as Phoenix snapped a 13-game losing streak, Westbrook (6-of-25 FG 23 pts, 12 reb, 8 ast) again fell just short of historical triple-double #42 amid Oklahoma City’s bittersweet struggles.
Westbrook’s five first-quarter mishandles placed OKC in a hole from which they never recovered.
Overall, the Thunder shot 36/22/72 while being outscored 85-65 by Phoenix’s starters.
Emerging star Devin Booker finished with a game-high 37 points, as TJ Warren (23) and four other Suns joined the 20-year-old phenom in double-figure scoring.
In fact, points flowed for Phoenix in effortless stride. So much so, that at its summit Earl Watson’s crew enjoyed a 28-point lead over listless Oklahoma City.
Unfortunately for OKC, the final half of play resembled a disjointed, and contrived pick-up affair in which Westbrook was simply gunning for his lone spot in the record books.
Amid this disarray, minus the wing pair of Andre Roberson and Alex Abrines, Coach Billy Donovan threw various lineups with half-hearted intent at his 23-win counterpart, though nothing seemed to fit.
One could sense early that singular history would have to wait for another night.
Nevertheless, Westbrook’s successful bid to become the second full-season triple-doubler, as OKC has clinched the West’s #6-seed, is something to appreciate and celebrate regardless of tonight’s final score.
Congratulations, Russell Westbrook on a truly memorable 30/10/10 campaign. Thunder nation tips its collective cap to you.
Russell Westbrook's remarkable season ranks among the greatest ever. https://t.co/afesgvVD5M— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 8, 2017
With three contests remaining, Oklahoma City (45-34) sits three games behind #5-seed LAC.
Sunday, Russell Westbrook strives for a win and perhaps elusive triple-double #42 when the Thunder take the court vs. a Denver team fighting for the eighth, and final, playoff spot.