NBA: Russell's run ends, Thunder still win

Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook going airborne to notch two of his 37 points with an emphatic dunk during the Thunder's 99-96 win over the Boston Celtics.
Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook going airborne to notch two of his 37 points with an emphatic dunk during the Thunder's 99-96 win over the Boston Celtics.PHOTO: REUTERS

Westbrook's streak of triple-doubles ends at seven but his 37pts are vital in edging Celtics

OKLAHOMA CITY • With the recent run of triple-doubles Russell Westbrook has been piling up, it has become expected he will get one every night he gets on the court.

For almost two weeks, that seemed to be the case.

However, Westbrook proved on Sunday that he does not have to get triple-doubles just to dominate games.

The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard scored 13 fourth-quarter points to lead the Thunder to a 99-96 National Basketball Association (NBA) victory over the Boston Celtics at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

"We have got to be able to close the door," Westbrook said.

"We are not going to be able to blow teams out like we used to. We have got to grind it out."

He complied with 37 points, 12 rebounds and six assists to end his triple-double streak at seven straight.

But his coach said the numbers do not tell the whole story of what Westbrook did to ensure the victory.

"I'll say this about the triple-doubles, because I always find this interesting," Thunder coach Billy Donovan said.

"On a night like tonight, does it make it any less special if he had a couple more assists?

"I get all the stuff and people wanting to talk about it. But he did a lot of different things that impacted the game at a high level."

Steven Adams added 16 points and eight rebounds while Enes Kanter came off the bench to score 14 points as the Thunder improved to a 15-9 win-loss record for the season.

Al Horford paced the Celtics with 19 points and six rebounds. Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley each posted 18 points as Boston dropped to 13-11.

In Minneapolis, the Golden State Warriors rebounded from a road loss to the Memphis Grizzlies to beat the rebuilding Minnesota Timberwolves 116-108 and extend their NBA-record streak of not losing back-to-back games.

The Warriors delivered in the fourth quarter to fend off the Timberwolves and make sure their 111-game streak of not losing consecutive regular season games continued.

"It's really one of the most impressive streaks that I've ever seen," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr.

"That's a lot of games."

Klay Thompson had 30 points, Kevin Durant added 22 points and eight rebounds, Stephen Curry had 22 points and nine assists, and Draymond Green scored 18 for the Warriors, who improved to 21-4.

Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns tallied his 15th double-double of the season with 25 points and 18 rebounds, as the Timberwolves dropped to 6-18.

In Los Angeles, the New York Knicks defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 118-112.

Derrick Rose returned to the New York line-up and torched the Los Angeles backcourt for 25 points.

Kristaps Porzingis led the Knicks in scoring with 26 points, adding 12 rebounds and seven blocked shots.

Brandon Jennings came off the bench to score 19 crucial points for the Knicks (14-10).

Lou Williams led the Lakers (10-16) with 24 points.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 13, 2016, with the headline 'Russell's run ends, Thunder still win'. Print Edition | Subscribe