Westbrook’s triple-double leads Thunder over Bulls

LOS ANGELES: Russell Westbrook completed his collection with a triple-double on Saturday against the Chicago Bulls, the only NBA team that had denied the Oklahoma City star the statistical feat.
Westbrook, the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player, scored 12 points with 13 rebounds and 13 assists in Oklahoma City’s 101-69 rout of the Bulls.
He’s the first player to post a triple-double — notching double digits in three statistical categories — against all 29 opposing teams in the NBA.
Carmelo Anthony and Paul George, new arrivals in Oklahoma City this season, combined to drain nine three-pointers, Anthony scoring 21 points and George 20.
Kiwi centre Steven Adams and Raymond Felton scored 12 points apiece as part of a balanced Thunder attack, and Oklahoma City held the Bulls to an anemic 28.2 per cent shooting.
“(Defence) just set the tone,” Westbrook said. “When we’re able to do that, it puts us in position to do good things.”
Friday’s defeat to the Minnesota Timberwolves, followed by a worrisome flight from Minneapolis to Chicago that left their charter plane with frightening damage, didn’t appear to affect the Thunder on court.
They opened the game on a 15-3 scoring run, and led 50-31 at half-time.
Westbrook had two steals as part of a solid defensive effort that forced 19 Bulls turnovers.
“Honestly, my main thing coming into this year was finding ways to impact the game defensively the way I know I can,” Westbrook said. “For me, that’s part of my job… to be that player who is able to do that on a night in, night out basis.”
Lauri Markkanen scored 15 points to lead the Bulls, who were coming off a 91-86 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers was similarly disappointed after the Detroit Pistons handed his team their first defeat of the season, 95-87.
The Clippers, who were the last remaining unbeaten team, led 70-57 with less than five minutes left in the third quarter.
But from there they were held to 7-of-34 shooting from the floor, with no free throw attempts in the fourth quarter. “To me, we deserved to lose,” Rivers said. — AFP