Recording triple-doubles are becoming routine for Russell Westbrook and he looks to register his fourth in a row when the Oklahoma City Thunder host the Washington Wizards on Wednesday. Westbrook leads the NBA with eight triple-doubles this season and has 45 in his standout career.
Westbrook recorded 27 points, a season-best 18 rebounds and 14 assists in Monday’s 112-103 road win over the New York Knicks to raise his season averages to 30.9 points, 11.3 assists and 10.3 rebounds. “He is going to put up numbers because of his ability and just how hard he plays and his gifts, but he’s doing a lot of other things that the stat sheet doesn’t measure,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said afterward. “I know everybody is focused on that right now and rightfully so. It’s historic what he’s doing but he’s really a complete point guard all the way around.” Washington coach Scott Brooks is returning to Oklahoma City as a visiting coach for the first time after posting a 338-207 record in seven seasons (2008-15) as Thunder coach. The Wizards won three of their past four games, including a 101-95 home overtime victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington), FSN Oklahoma
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (6-10): Shooting guard Bradley Beal is in the midst of a stellar stretch and he knocked down a career-high seven 3-pointers while scoring 31 points against the Kings on Monday. Beal is averaging 29.2 points and made 21 3-pointers over the past five games, and he is optimistic over Washington’s suddenly improved performance. “We’re doing a better job of making strides,” Beal told reporters. “We have mishaps here and there. You’re going to have them in a game, but I think we do a better job of really retaliating and getting a stop when we need to and scoring when we need to.”
ABOUT THE THUNDER (11-8): Westbrook’s three-game triple-double streak resulted in wins each game and he said he’s more interested in accumulating victories than trying to join Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the only player to average a triple-double for a season. “Winning is sustainable,” Westbrook told reporters. “That’s all I know, man, and my job is to make sure we go out and find the best way to win games and right now we’ve won three straight and that’s the most important part for me.” Westbrook received timely help from center Enes Kanter against the Knicks as the 6-foot-11 backup scored a season-best 27 points on 12-of-17 shooting and collected 10 rebounds.
1. The Thunder won the past four meetings and six of the last seven.
2. Oklahoma City backup guard Anthony Morrow is averaging 17.5 points on 13-of-19 shooting over the past two games.
3. Washington C Ian Mahinmi (sore knee) sat out the Sacramento game after making his season debut two nights earlier.
PREDICTION: Thunder 109, Wizards 107