Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Thunder star Russell Westbrook’s triple-double vs. Spurs was unprecedented

DeMar DeRozan Fernando Medina Getty Images
Cassandra Castillo | 12 January, 2019, 12:28

The Spurs scored a season-high 70 points in the first half behind ideal 10-of-10 shooting from long distance - riding Aldridge and Marco Belinelli to a 70-63 advantage at the break.

As you would imagine for a game featuring 114 field goals, there were any number of twists and turns as the Thunder battled back from 16 down in the second quarter, and seven with 3 minutes, 14 seconds left in regulation.

"He's been a beast all year long", San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said of Aldridge.

The Thunder has trailed in late-game situations before with the ball in Russell Westbrook's hands. Grant and Schroder combined to score 17 points in the pivotal quarter. It was Westbrook's second career 20-10-20 game, putting him behind only Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson (both with three) in that category, according to ESPN.

Though Adams left the game with a sprained ankle midway through the fourth, he made his triumphant return in the first overtime. Their hot 3-point shooting came largely courtesy of the bench, with Marco Belinelli hitting 5-of-5 en route to 19 points while Davis Bertans scored all 12 of his points on 4-of-4 shooting from distance. An Adams dunk off a feed from Westbrook tied it 141-141 to send it to double-overtime.

"I was just complaining about two weeks ago that I feel that it should have happened in my career", Aldridge said. On a night when Popovich moved past Jerry Sloan to No. 3 on the NBA's career wins list, with 1,222, the Spurs were propelled by an aspect of the game their coach has often said he dislikes. The two teams will turn around and play again on Saturday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

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#1 LaMarcus Aldridge puts up a career-night and carries the Spurs through LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging nearly 20 ppg this season. Aldridge also knocked in 16-of-16 free throws and hit clutch shots down the stretch. He's always been known as a Thunder killer and he proved it yet again tonight. San Antonio was the first team in the last 20 years to record that stat line in a half.

San Antonio finished hitting 16-of-19 3-pointers. It's incredible this game is as close as it was considering how well they shot the ball.

He totaled 24 points, a career-high 24 assists and 13 rebounds Thursday night to become the first player in National Basketball Association history to reach those numbers in a game while his assists tied the most in history during a triple-double. Paul George scored 30 points and Grant added 25 points and 12 rebounds, but fouled out with 25 seconds remaining in the second overtime. Like Westbrook, he struggled after the third quarter, shooting just 2-of-9 in the fourth quarter and both overtimes.

Love for Ferg. Though he had a turnover in the second overtime that effectively ended all hopes of a miracle, Terrance Ferguson looked like an elite 3-and-D guy for one night in Texas. Tonight, he shattered his career-best with 56 points, along with nine rebounds, four assists, and four blocks on 20-of-33 (60.6 percent) from the field. Ferg is now 11-of-14 from deep over the last two games.

"Just really happy for him, that was a heck of a game, 56".

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