Thunder's Russell Westbrook continues to make National Basketball Association history


26 November, 2016

The five-time All-Star came into Friday's game at the Denver Nuggets averaging 31.8 points (most in the league), 10.5 assists, and 9.6 rebounds per game - numbers that make him a very real threat to join Oscar Robertson as the only players to average a triple-double over a full season. "It's happened at different points throughout the year", Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan said.

Victor Oladipo scored 16 points, and Joffrey Lauvergne scored 15 off the bench for Oklahoma City. After the Thunder started the year 6-1, they've now gone just 2-7 to get them to.500. Jamal Murray had other ideas as he attempted a three pointer, but was fouled by Stephen Adams.

Westbrook finished an assist shy of his career high.

The Thunder still had a chance to win, but Westbrook had his layup blocked by Kenneth Faried with a second left, and the game went to overtime. He also had seven turnovers. "His strength, his size, his athleticism, his explosiveness, his attack mindset, just a phenomenal player".

Will Barton, who returned last week after missing nine games, was away from the team for personal reasons, as was Mike Miller.

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Nuggets: Murray finished with 20 points and seven rebounds. The Thunder have used the same starting lineup in all 17 games this season. Danilo Gallinari (right thigh), Juancho Hernangomez (right ankle sprain) and Gary Harris were all out. Westbrook hit three free throws to ice it.

Malone expressed plenty of admiration for Westbrook before the game.

"I ran that unit a lot", Malone said. "I think he's a guy that would have excelled back in the '80s, which is my favorite period of the National Basketball Association when (there wasn't) all this lovey-dovey, hug-and-kissing and no hard fouls".

NOTES: The Nuggets' depleted roster could get some reinforcements for Sunday's game in Phoenix. He came into Friday's game averaging 6.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in 15.8 minutes for Oklahoma City.

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