Westbrook leads late rally to down Dallas

DALLAS • For those who believe Russell Westbrook is a one-man team, his display on Monday did little to change their minds.

He singlehandedly spearheaded a 14-0 game-ending run, scoring 12 of the final 14 points in the National Basketball Association (NBA) game. He capped his awesome performance with an 18-foot jumper in the closing seconds, to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 92-91 win over the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Centre.

"I guess I just come out and compete every night," he said. "I just try to find ways to help my team win and always keep a 'never quit' mentality and always keep it going."

The Thunder (42-31) were in trouble for much of the game, and they trailed by as many as 14 in the fourth quarter. However, after the Mavericks went up 91-78, they did not score again.

Westbrook's final shot from just inside the top of the key connected with 7.2 seconds left.

  • 37

    Russell Westbrook's triple-double tally this season. The Thunder won 30 of those 37 NBA games.

Harrison Barnes missed a long three-pointer at the buzzer for Dallas.

Westbrook racked up his 37th triple-double with 37 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. He needs four more triple-doubles in the final nine games to tie Oscar Robertson's single-season record of 41 set in 1961-62.

Oklahoma City's win-loss record when Westbrook records a triple-double improved to 30-7 this season. They won 11 in a row in such games before a 137-125 loss at the Rockets on Sunday.

"It's very important, especially after how we lost yesterday," said the guard. "I wasn't completely happy with how we played, but I thought we came out and competed at a high level for 48 minutes."

Victor Oladipo had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Thunder, and Taj Gibson had 13 points and six boards. Dallas reserves Devin Harris, J.J. Barea and Salah Mejri led the way for the home team, combining for 30 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

"All of our bench guys were a plus," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "Some nights the bench plays well and the starters struggle, and vice versa. Tonight was a night when we needed everybody to play an even, consistent, hard-playing game."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2017, with the headline 'Westbrook leads late rally to down Dallas'. Print Edition | Subscribe