Russell Westbrook didn’t get a triple-double but the Oklahoma City Thunder scored the most important mark of them all, the victory. Oklahoma City beat the Memphis Grizzlies 103-100 on Wednesday night to improve to 45-33 on the year.
Westbrook nailed a three-pointer with 14 seconds left in front of Tony Allen to put Oklahoma City up 101-97. It was the MVP candidate’s eighth three of the game. Westbrook finished with 45 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. Westbrook ended his seven game triple-double streak. He fell one rebound short of his 42nd triple-double of the season.
“I think it’s important,” Westbrook said. “Especially for us getting ready for the playoffs. We need to make sure we’re playing the type of basketball we need moving forward.”
Oklahoma City with the victory clinched no worse than the sixth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. They remain two games back of the fifth place L.A. Clippers.
Victor Oladipo scored 15 points, and Doug McDermott and Enes Kanter added 10 points each.
McDermott nailed a huge three with 1:24 remaining, putting Oklahoma City on top 98-95, it was Westbrook’s 10th assist.
The Thunder never gave up the lead.
Oklahoma City led 57-50 at halftime.
Westbrook continued inching closer to the record, and his 15 points in the third, helped Oklahoma City carry a 79-74 lead into the fourth. A 10-0 run capped by a Zach Randolph three-pointer, put the Grizzlies on top 82-79 with 8:27 left in regulation.
Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan recorded his 100th win as coach of Oklahoma City. He is 100-60 in two seasons with the Thunder.
“We held him from getting a triple-double,” Fizdale said sarcastically. “Take that, Russell Westbrook.”
Alex Abrines missed the game with a knee sprain. Andre Roberson left the game with a knee injury. Donovan said Roberson could have returned but they decided to hold him out.
With four games remaining, Oklahoma City will head to Phoenix for game two of a four-game road trip. That game is scheduled to tip-off at 8:30 p.m. on Friday night.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Oklahoma City only turned it over 12 times, leading to 12 fast break points for Memphis. That’s a third of what they allowed with the Hornets the other night. Oklahoma City is doing a much better job than the other night.
Fast Break: B
Oklahoma City blew the doors off on the break tonight. Oklahoma City outscored the Grizzlies 26-13 on the break and 23 of them came in the first half. Oklahoma City could’ve done better in the second half and probably would have run away with it had they, but overall solid job.
Bench production: D
The bench only scored 28 points tonight, but those by Kanter and McDermott were huge. Oklahoma City needs a better coming out next time around but tonight it worked. When Kanter is always produces, the Thunder tend to do well.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!