Russell Westbrook’s style of play coming back to bite Thunder

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(Photo from Rolling Out Archives) Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook shot 18 shots in the fourth quarter of Game 2 against the Houston Rockets.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook added another historic triple-double to his growing list of career accomplishments in Game 2 against the Houston Rockets. Westbrook finished the night with 51 points, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds — but it meant nothing to him after the game.

“I don’t give a f— about the [stat]line. We lost,” Westbrook said after the Thunder fell 0-2 to the Rockets following an 115-111 defeat.

In the first half, Westbrook led the Thunder with 10 assists and the team carried a 68-62 lead into halftime. The Rockets went on an 11-3 run in the last two and a half minutes in the third quarter once Westbrook was no longer on the floor and in the fourth quarter, he didn’t trust his teammates much longer.

“I think we need to do a better job for the full 48 minutes,” Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said in regards to his team’s overall offensive performance. “One thing I thought was great in the first half was I thought we had really good ball movement. We attacked the paint. We were shooting a high percentage. The things we tried to correct [from Game 1] on both sides of the ball, for the most part, we did a good job [with] and we didn’t have enough consistency doing that in the third and in the fourth.”

Westbrook took 18 shots in the final period alone, making four attempts and finishing the night going 17-for-43 overall.

“He’s good, no doubt about it,” Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni said of Westbrook after witnessing the highest scoring triple-double in NBA history. “I mean 17-for-43, we’ll take that. That’s what we tried to do. We tried to keep him under 50 percent … I thought our guys did a great job. He was hitting everything at the beginning and got a little cold there at the end of the game.”

Westbrook became the second player in NBA history this year to average a triple-double for the course of an entire NBA regular season, but he has received backlash for his style of play in the past. Game 2 was another example of some of the main criticism against him, taking one less shot than the record for most shots in an NBA playoff game that was set by Philadelphia Warriors center Wilt Chamberlain, who attempted 48 field goals in 1962 against the Syracuse Nationals.

Game 3 of the Rockets and Thunder series tips off on April 21 at 9:30 p.m. ET.

Rashad Milligan
Rashad Milligan

Rashad Milligan is the sports editor at the Valley Times-News in Lanett, Alabama. He was once a news reporter at the Douglas County Sentinel and the sports editor for Georgia State's student newspaper, The Signal.

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