Westbrook sparks Thunder in Kings win

SACRAMENTO (California) • The smiles and laughter returned to the Oklahoma City Thunder post-game scene on Monday, their memories of a perfectly miserable loss two nights earlier soothed by guard Russell Westbrook and his latest triple-double.

Forward Kevin Durant, as well as the Oklahoma City bench players, added a considerable contribution, too.

"We did a great job of playing together and playing the right way," Westbrook said after the Thunder rolled past the Sacramento Kings 131-116 in the National Basketball Association.

"We didn't let that last game linger."

He almost single-handedly would not allow it, torching Sacramento for 20 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds in his ninth triple-double of the season. With his 28th career triple-double, he also broke a second-place tie with Kings guard Rajon Rondo among active players.

He trails only the Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green (11) for the lead this season.

Durant added 27 points and 10 rebounds, and the Thunder (42-18) received a season-high 64 points from their reserves to win for just the second time in their past six games.

Forward Enes Kanter keyed the bench effort by knocking down all 11 of his shots en route to 23 points and guard Dion Waiters scored 22 on 8-for-11 shooting.

"The ball movement when we had those guys in there and we slid Kevin to (small forward), was very good," Thunder coach Billy Donovan said.

"A lot of guys touched the ball, and we had good dribble penetration.

"Kevin and Russell found guys when they slid open, and the guys off the bench stepped up and made open shots."

That such a sound effort came after a heartbreaking 118-121 overtime loss on Saturday to the Warriors on Stephen Curry's 32-foot three-pointer with six-tenths of a second left, made it all the more welcome.

Kings centre DeMarcus Cousins finished with a game-high 35 points.

Rondo added 11 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds for Sacramento (24-34).

"It was huge for us," Durant said. "We'd lost four of five, so if we lose tonight, you guys are going to act like the world is going to end, and nobody in here is laughing or feeling good."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2016, with the headline 'Westbrook sparks Thunder in Kings win'. Print Edition | Subscribe