West­brook’s triple-dou­ble lifts Thun­der over Heat

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

The seem­ingly un­stop­pable Rus­sell West­brook pro­duced his 15th triple­dou­ble of the sea­son Tues­day to pro­pel the Ok­la­homa City Thun­der to a 106-94 NBA vic­tory over the Heat in Mi­ami. West­brook’s 52nd ca­reer triple-dou­ble was his 30th of 2016 — a to­tal span­ning the lat­ter part of last sea­son. He joined Os­car Robert­son as the only play­ers to notch 30 triple-dou­bles in a cal­en­dar year-fur­ther­ing his chances of match­ing Robert­son’s 1961-62 feat of av­er­ag­ing a triple-dou­ble over an en­tire sea­son. “He’s a unique player,” Thun­der coach Billy Dono­van said of West­brook, who reeled in a re­bound to wrap up a triple-dou­ble with 6:40 re­main­ing in the third quar­ter. He fin­ished with 29 points, 17 re­bounds and 11 as­sists. “When you see him go­ing up above guys to get re­bounds, it’s re­ally re­mark­able,” added Dono­van, who noted that West­brook’s re­bounds, all of them on the de­fen­sive end, ig­nited the Thun­der’s of­fense. “That was 17 times where we could gen­er­ate a fast break just through him,” Dono­van said. “(West­brook) has it, the team sees it, and now we can get out and run.” Ok­la­homa City had a 16-4 ad­van­tage in fast break points and outscored Mi­ami 58-32 in the paint. West­brook con­nected on 11 of 22 shots from the floor and seven of 10 from the free throw line. But Heat coach Erik Spoel­stra said the last­ing im­pres­sion left by West­brook was the way he gave it all he had for all 37 min­utes he spent on the floor. “From my per­spec­tive, some of the most im­pres­sive plays he made were div­ing in front of our bench, tak­ing the charge at the end when they were up 12,” Spoel­stra said. “Ev­ery sin­gle pos­ses­sion is the most im­por­tant pos­ses­sion to him. “It’s a great les­son to our young guys. What de­fines great­ness is con­sis­tency.”

CELTICS 113, GRIZ­ZLIES 103

Ger­ald Green came off the bench to score a sea­son-high 19 points in less than 19 min­utes and the Bos­ton Celtics won for the sixth time in seven games, beat­ing the Mem­phis Griz­zlies 113-103. Avery Bradley scored 23 points and added seven re­bounds and four as­sists, while Isa­iah Thomas had 21 points and seven as­sists as the Celtics (19-13) beat Mem­phis for the sec­ond time in eight days. Cen­ter Marc Ga­sol scored 26 points, 16 in the first half, and added nine as­sists for the Griz­zlies (20-14).

ROCK­ETS 123, MAV­ER­ICKS 107

A 16-0 run in the sec­ond quar­ter by the Hous­ton Rock­ets set the stage for a 123-107 vic­tory over the Dal­las Mav­er­icks. The Rock­ets (24-9) swept all four of their games against the Mav­er­icks for the first time since the 1997-98 sea­son, and have won 13 of their last 15. James Harden led the way with 34 points, 11 as­sists and five re­bounds. The Mavs (9-23) now own the worst win­ning per­cent­age in the West­ern Con­fer­ence.

JAZZ 102, LAK­ERS 100

Gor­don Hay­ward scored 31 points and grabbed nine re­bounds, and the Utah Jazz snapped a three-game los­ing streak with a 102-100 vic­tory road over the Los An­ge­les Lak­ers. Joe In­gles came off the bench to score 13 points, and Ruby Gobert col­lected 12 points and 11 re­bounds for the Jazz (19-13). Utah im­proved to 3-0 this sea­son against the Lak­ers. Los An­ge­les guard D’An­gelo Rus­sell fired an air­ball from be­hind the arc just be­fore the fi­nal horn, al­low­ing Utah to pre­vail.

MI­AMI: Ok­la­homa City Thun­der guard Rus­sell West­brook (0) shoots as Mi­ami Heat for­ward Jus­tise Winslow (20) de­fends dur­ing the sec­ond half of an NBA bas­ket­ball game, Tues­day, in Mi­ami. Thun­der won 106-94.

LOS AN­GE­LES: Los An­ge­les Lak­ers for­ward Luol Deng, left, of South Su­dan, shoots as Utah Jazz cen­ter Rudy Gobert, of France, de­fends dur­ing the sec­ond half of an NBA bas­ket­ball game, Tues­day, in Los An­ge­les. The Jazz won 102-100.

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