EditorsNote: Adds Thursday to lede
Paul George scored 27 points, and Russell Westbrook recorded his eighth consecutive triple-double as the host Oklahoma City Thunder overwhelmed the Memphis Grizzlies in the second half en route to a 117-95 win Thursday.
The win was the Thunder’s ninth in 10 games and their fifth consecutive at home.
Memphis, playing with a short bench, had its two-game winning streak snapped.
Westbrook had 15 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds to keep the triple-double streak alive. He clinched the triple-double with 4:30 remaining in the third quarter when he made a put-back shot.
He became just the second player in NBA history with eight consecutive triple-doubles. Wilt Chamberlain holds the NBA record with nine consecutive triple-doubles in 1968.
Memphis had just nine players dressed for the game after trading four players earlier in the day, including longtime standout Marc Gasol, who had played all of his 11 NBA seasons in Memphis before being dealt to the Toronto Raptors.
The Grizzlies also had entertained trade talks concerning Mike Conley, another Memphis staple, but Conley stayed put through the trade deadline. Conley struggled against the Thunder, though, scoring 15 points but making just 4 of 15 shots from the floor.
Jaren Jackson Jr. led the Grizzlies with 27 points.
Memphis had success early, building a nine-point lead early in the second quarter thanks to a zone defense that forced Oklahoma City to rely heavily on the outside shot.
The Thunder hit enough 3-pointers to stay in the game, briefly possessing their own nine-point lead in the second quarter before the Grizzlies took a two-point lead into the break.
Of Oklahoma City’s 40 first-half shots, 28 came from behind the 3-point arc. The Thunder finished 17 of 44 on 3-point attempts, with George going 6 of 13.
The Thunder quickly took control in the third quarter, outscoring Memphis 32-19 in the period to start to put the game away.
A big part of that was the Thunder’s ability to score on the inside. After struggling in the paint in the first half — thanks in part to center Steven Adams being limited to six minutes with foul trouble — Oklahoma City got to the rim regularly after the break.
—Field Level Media