EditorsNote: Grammar fixes in 5th, 11th grafs; name fix 10th; stat fix 11th
Russell Westbrook scored 23 points and recorded his second consecutive triple-double as the host Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 122-116 on Thursday night.
Westbrook added 17 rebounds and 16 assists, sealing his league-leading 15th triple-double of the season less than two minutes into the second half. The Thunder are now 6-0 all time when Westbrook has at least 15 points, rebounds and assists.
On Tuesday, Westbrook recorded 29 points, 14 assists and 10 boards against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The win was the Thunder’s fourth in a row. The Pelicans have lost four of five.
Oklahoma City took the lead for good midway through the second quarter and then steadily built its edge through the next quarter and a half before New Orleans made its run.
By the time 3:13 had passed in the second half, the Thunder were on top by 22. But then the Pelicans started chipping away, repeatedly cutting the deficit to seven in the fourth quarter.
New Orleans trimmed the margin to five with 2:10 remaining on a Jrue Holiday 3-pointer, but the Thunder immediately answered with a Paul George 3-pointer.
George, who earlier in the day was named an All-Star starter for the third time in his career, finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Steven Adams added 20 points and 13 rebounds as the Thunder outrebounded New Orleans by 16.
George shot 6-of-10 from behind the 3-point arc, helping Oklahoma City hit 14 of 32 3-point attempts.
Holiday led the Pelicans with 22 points while Darius Miller added 21. Holiday also had 13 assists and nine rebounds.
Oklahoma City, which has scored 116 or more points in nine consecutive games, finished with 33 assists, one off its season-high.
New Orleans was not only without Anthony Davis, who missed his third consecutive game with a finger injury, but three other regular rotation players.
Nikola Mirotic, who sustained a calf strain late in the Pelicans’ Wednesday loss to Detroit, will miss at least a week. Julius Randle sat out the game with a right ankle sprain, and E’Twaun Moore missed the game for rest.
—Field Level Media