West­brook makes his­tory

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Top Sports -

OK­LA­HOMA City star Rus­sell West­brook be­came the first player in NBA his­tory to aver­age a triple-double in mul­ti­ple sea­sons and Paul Ge­orge scored 40 points as the Thun­der posted a 137-123 win over the vis­it­ing Mem­phis Griz­zlies on Wednesday night at Ch­e­sa­peake En­ergy Arena.

West­brook col­lected 20 re­bounds to raise his sea­son aver­age to 10.05 per game. He also had six points and 19 as­sists against the Griz­zlies to fin­ish the sea­son with av­er­ages of 25.4 and 10.3, re­spec­tively, in those cat­e­gories.

West­brook av­er­aged 31.6 points, 10.7 re­bounds and 10.4 as­sists in his 201617 MVP sea­son when he was the first player since Os­car Robert­son in 1961-62 to aver­age a triple-double.

“I’m very, very blessed to go out and play ev­ery sin­gle night,” West­brook said in a postgame in­ter­view with Fox Sports Ok­la­homa. “I have un­be­liev­able team­mates that al­low me to do what I do each and ev­ery sin­gle night. The coach­ing staff as well and an or­ga­ni­za­tion that is be­hind me.”

Ge­orge con­nected on 13 of 20 field-goal at­tempts, and set a sea­son high by mak­ing eight 3-point­ers. Steven Adams added 24 points on 9-of-12 shoot­ing and Corey Brewer scored 17 points.

Ok­la­homa City won four of its fi­nal five games and fin­ished with a 48-34 record.

The club’s seed­ing place­ment for the Western Con­fer­ence

play­offs will be of­fi­cially known later Wednesday night, but the vic­tory as­sures that the Thun­der will at least be the No. 6 seed and will play the Utah Jazz in the first round no mat­ter what hap­pens later in the night.

If the Jazz lose to the Port­land Trail Blaz­ers, the Thun­der will have home-court ad­van­tage.

Rookie Dil­lon Brooks scored a sea­son­high 36 points on 14-of-22 for the Griz­zlies, who lost for the sixth time in their past seven games. Kobi Simmons added 15 points for Mem­phis, which held out Marc Ga­sol among other reg­u­lars.

The Griz­zlies (22-60) matched the du­bi­ous record for most losses in the fran­chise’s Mem­phis era. The Griz­zlies lost 60 or more games four times in Van­cou­ver be­fore re­lo­cat­ing for the 2001-02 cam­paign. This is the third time they have lost 60 in Mem­phis.

West­brook of­fi­cially reached the triple­dou­ble aver­age when he grabbed his 16th re­bound with 9:20 left in the third quar­ter.

Ge­orge scored 26 points on 9-of-10 shoot­ing in the first half. He was 5-of-5 from 3-point range to help the Thun­der take a 77-57 lead into the break.

Ok­la­homa City’s lead reached 90-63 on a three-point play by Carmelo An­thony with 7:06 left in the third quar­ter.

But Brooks, who scored 16 points in the quar­ter, led a spir­ited 17-4 surge. Brooks’ three-point play cut Mem­phis’ deficit to 9480 with 3:55 re­main­ing.

Mem­phis re­mained in range in the fourth quar­ter but 3-point­ers by Ter­rance Fer­gu­son, Ge­orge and Josh Huestis made it 136116 with 1:16 re­main­ing as the Thun­der closed it out.

AFP

RUS­SELL West­brook (0) of the Ok­la­homa City Thun­der dunks the ball dur­ing the game against the Mem­phis Griz­zlies on April 11, 2018 at Ch­e­sa­peake En­ergy Arena in Ok­la­homa City, Ok­la­homa.

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