Russell Westbrook grabs another triple-double as Thunder top Raptors
TORONTO (AP) Russell Westbrook had 24 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds in three quarters for his 34th triple-double of the season as the Oklahoma City Thunder registered their fourth consecutive win with a 123-102 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night.
The league’s leading scorer moved closer to the NBA’s single-season record for triple-doubles, 41 set by Oscar Robertson in the 1961-62 season.
Victor Oladipo added 23 points as the Thunder split the season series with the Raptors, the fourth straight year the teams have done so.
DeMar DeRozan had 22 points for the Raptors, while Serge Ibaka had 10 points against his former team.
The Thunder never trailed, and pushed their lead to a game-high 32 with 5:07 to play in the fourth quarter as Toronto emptied its bench. Though the Raptors closed the gap to 19 with 1:21 to go, Oklahoma City had little trouble in closing out the game from there.
After taking the lead on Steven Adams’ hook shot 1:09 in, the Thunder surged with 7:17 to play in the first, using a 12-2 run to take a 29-24 lead after 12 minutes.
Having scored just two points in the first quarter, Westbrook had 10 in the second as Oklahoma City increased its edge to 14. DeRozan then had the final four points of the quarter to reduce the deficit to 58-48 at the half.
DeRozan picked up where he left off after the intermission, registering 14 points in the third quarter. However, the Thunder responded through Westbrook and Oladipo, who had 12 and 11 points respectively, as Oklahoma City pushed its advantage to a 97-70 entering the final quarter.
Westbrook secured his triple-double with his 10th rebound with 3:56 to play in the third, and was removed with 1:59 to go, and didn’t play in the fourth quarter.
Thunder: The victory tied the Thunder’s season high by going 10 games over .500. ... Oklahoma City improved to 28-6 this season when Westbrook registers a triple-double, and 61-10 during his career. ... Westbrook’s 16 assists beat the Raptors’ team total of 15. ... All five of Oklahoma City’s starters registered double-digit points.
Raptors: G Kyle Lowry (right wrist) missed his 11th straight game since the All-Star break, with the team going 6-5 without him during that stretch. ... F DeMarre Carroll returned after missing the past two games with a sprained left ankle.
KYLE ON COURSE
Lowry continued his recovery from right wrist surgery this week, returning to New York City for what coach Dwane Casey termed a “regular” two-week check-up.
“It’s on schedule, on time, but still no timetable or anything like that,” he said, “but everything checked out and it’s where it should be right now.”
Heading off any rumors, Thunder coach Billy Donovan - a two-time NCAA champion with Florida - said that despite the opening at Indiana University following Thursday’s firing of Tom Crean, he’s more than happy in Oklahoma City.
“I feel bad (for Crean), but I am totally happy here, I love it here,” he said. “I love the guys I work with every day, I love our staff, the organization. So as far as I’m concerned, my commitment is totally here doing the best job I can while I’m here.”
Thunder: Host Sacramento on Saturday, aiming to improve on their 14-1 record at home against the Kings during the franchise’s time in Oklahoma City.
Raptors: At Detroit on Friday for the first of two visits to the Palace of Auburn Hills this season.