Westbrook keeps pace in bid for triple mark

NEW YORK • Russell Westbrook edged closer to Oscar Robertson's long-standing triple-double record after leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a comfortable 122-104 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday.

Westbrook brought up his remarkable 33rd triple-double of the NBA season with 25 points, 19 assists and 12 rebounds as the Thunder improved to 38-29.

The Oklahoma City talisman is now just eight shy of Robertson's record season tally of 41 triple-doubles.

The Barclays Centre crowd had a love-hate relationship with Westbrook during the night, subjecting him both to boos and chants of "MVP" in recognition of his stellar season.

The fans united in a standing ovation, however, when he grabbed a defensive rebound with 4:40 left in the fourth quarter to complete his latest triple.

Westbrook later admitted that he had been taken aback by the reaction of the crowd after sealing his triple.

"They were loud. I thought something happened," he said. "I was wondering why they were screaming so loud. I thought they were giving something out in the crowd or something."

Thunder coach Billy Donovan paid tribute to Westbrook's "incredible poise".

"I thought he generated shots for everybody," Donovan said. "He rebounded the ball, he scored when he needed to... He put his fingerprints all over the game in so many ways different ways in my opinion."

It was a third consecutive victory for Oklahoma City, who also saw guard Victor Oladipo finish with 21 points and centre Enes Kanter add 17 off the bench.

The win was also their first on the road since a defeat of New Orleans in late January - a fact that pleased Westbrook.

"As a team, if you want to win a championship, you have to win on the road, regardless of who you play, where you play, the situation, the weather, whatever it is you have to win on the road," he said.

Brook Lopez top-scored for the Nets with 25 points, with guard Jeremy Lin adding 24 points and Randy Foy 13.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2017, with the headline 'Westbrook keeps pace in bid for triple mark'. Print Edition | Subscribe