Westbrook bounces back as Thunder win

Oklahoma City Thunder player Russell Westbrook (right) in action with Memphis Grizzlies player Courtney Lee during the NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, on Jan 6, 2016.
Oklahoma City Thunder player Russell Westbrook (right) in action with Memphis Grizzlies player Courtney Lee during the NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, on Jan 6, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

LOS ANGELES • Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook looked like himself again on Friday, notching his fourth triple-double of the National Basketball Association (NBA) season to lead the Thunder to a 113-93 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Coming off a forgettable display against Dallas on Wednesday, in which he failed to score a point before he was ejected in the second quarter, Westbrook scored 12 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds before sitting out the fourth quarter with the hosts in full control.

He posted the 23rd triple-double of his career, making six of 10 shots from the floor and turning the ball over just twice.

Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds, and Timberwolves coach Sam Mitchell said his young team could learn a lot from the ruthlessly efficient Thunder.

Karl-Anthony Towns, the league's second-ranked rookie scorer, scored nine points and 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves.

Towns had connected on just two of nine shots through the first three periods, but Mitchell kept him and second-year guard Andrew Wiggins in the contest even after the Thunder had things in hand.

"I left some of my young guys out there even though the game was out of reach," Mitchell said.

"I wanted them to understand how it feels when you are getting your butt kicked.

"This is part of the growing pains of learning in the NBA."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 17, 2016, with the headline 'Westbrook bounces back as Thunder win'. Print Edition | Subscribe