By Wade Haugen
In a game that closely mirrored a wild-west shootout on Friday night in Denver, the Thunder was able to win in overtime 132-129 to snap their three-game losing streak. Russell Westbrook notched his sixth triple-double of the season, finishing with 36 points, 12 rebounds, and 18 assists, one shy of his career high.
Westbrook shook off a sluggish first half and bounced back in the fourth quarter by scoring 19 of his 36 points. He added five more points in overtime. According to Elias Sports, the Thunder’s star point guard is the first player in NBA history to average 32 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 10.5 assists through 17 games.
“We never gave up,” Westbrook said when asked about the game.
“We competed tonight, and we needed this win.”
To say the Thunder needed this win would be a massive understatement. Following a week in which they had lost three straight to the Pacers, Lakers, and Kings, all of whom the Thunder were favored against, a win in Denver was paramount.
On a night when defense was a non-factor, Victor Oladipo did an excellent job on that end of the floor all night. Oladipo also finished the night with 26 points. For this team to succeed like they want to, Oladipo must take a larger role on offense and lighten the burden upon Westbrook’s shoulders.
The Thunder’s next four games are against the following: vs Detroit, @New York, vs Washington, and vs the Pelicans. It’s essential that they take advantage of this stretch before the schedule begins to strengthen immensely.