Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook became the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double in multiple seasons and Paul George scored 40 points as the Thunder posted a 137-123 win over the visiting Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Westbrook collected 20 rebounds to raise his season average to 10.05 per game. He also had six points and 19 assists against the Grizzlies to finish the season with averages of 25.4 and 10.3, respectively, in those categories.
Westbrook averaged 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists in his 2016-17 MVP season when he was the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 to average a triple-double.
“I’m very, very blessed to go out and play every single night,” Westbrook said in a postgame interview with Fox Sports Oklahoma. “I have unbelievable teammates that allow me to do what I do each and every single night. The coaching staff as well and an organization that is behind me.”
George connected on 13 of 20 field-goal attempts, and set a season high by making eight 3-pointers. Steven Adams added 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting and Corey Brewer scored 17 points.
Oklahoma City won four of its final five games and finished with a 48-34 record. The club’s seeding placement for the Western Conference playoffs will be officially known later Wednesday night, but the victory assures that the Thunder will at least be the No. 6 seed and will play the Utah Jazz in the first round no matter what happens later in the night. If the Jazz lose to the Portland Trail Blazers, the Thunder will have home-court advantage.
Rookie Dillon Brooks scored a season-high 36 points on 14-of-22 for the Grizzlies, who lost for the sixth time in their past seven games. Kobi Simmons added 15 points for Memphis, which held out Marc Gasol among other regulars.
The Grizzlies (22-60) matched the dubious record for most losses in the franchise’s Memphis era. The Grizzlies lost 60 or more games four times in Vancouver before relocating for the 2001-02 campaign. This is the third time they have lost 60 in Memphis.
Westbrook officially reached the triple-double average when he grabbed his 16th rebound with 9:20 left in the third quarter.
George scored 26 points on 9-of-10 shooting in the first half. He was 5-of-5 from 3-point range to help the Thunder take a 77-57 lead into the break.
Oklahoma City’s lead reached 90-63 on a three-point play by Carmelo Anthony with 7:06 left in the third quarter.
But Brooks, who scored 16 points in the quarter, led a spirited 17-4 surge. Brooks’ three-point play cut Memphis’ deficit to 94-80 with 3:55 remaining.
Memphis remained in range in the fourth quarter but 3-pointers by Terrance Ferguson, George and Josh Huestis made it 136-116 with 1:16 remaining as the Thunder closed it out.
—Field Level Media