Russell Westbrook powers Thunder past Blazers 105-99

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Russell Westbrook scored 19 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter, leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 105-99 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

Westbrook also had eight assists and four rebounds in his eighth 40-point performance of the season. Victor Oladipo added 24 points and 13 boards, helping Oklahoma City (30-22) move within a half-game of idle Memphis for sixth in the Western Conference.

Damian Lillard had 29 points and seven rebounds for Portland (22-30), which has dropped three of four. C.J. McCollum added 19 points and eight boards.

Westbrook punctuated his big day with a 3-pointer with 1:18 remaining, lifting Oklahoma City to a 100-93 lead. He capped it off by hitting five free throws in the final minute as the crowd chanted “MVP! MVP!”

After scoring 19 points in the fourth quarter to spark a 114-102 comeback victory over Memphis on Friday, Westbrook again rallied the Thunder when they needed him most, scoring 12 points in the third quarter and 19 more in the fourth.

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: Mason Plumlee had 13 points, and Allen Crabbe finished with 10. … Portland outscored Oklahoma City 36-22 in the second quarter for a 52-46 lead at the break.

Thunder: Andre Roberson had 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting. … The Thunder went 1 for 13 from 3-point range through the first three quarters, and then hit 3 of 5 attempts from long range in the fourth.

UP NEXT

Trail Blazers: Return to Dallas, where they just lost to the Mavericks 108-104 on Friday, for the final of four regular-season matchups on Tuesday.

Thunder: Visit the Pacers on Monday.

Russell Westbrook scores most points ever in triple-double, 57

AP Photo/John Raoux
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Russell Westbrook led a double-digit comeback in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Been there done, that.

Westbrook hit a defining buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Been there done, that.

Westbrook posted a historic triple-double. Been there, done that.

All three in one game?

That’s a new level for Westbrook, who lifted the Thunder to a 114-106 win over the Magic tonight while posting an incredible stat line: 57 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

James Harden scored 53 in a triple-double just this season, and Westbrook has already one-upped that record.

This MVP race is one for the ages.

Russell Westbrook’s 3-pointer caps incredible Thunder comeback, send Magic game to OT (video)

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The Thunder trailed the Magic by 21 points in the second half and 14 points midway through the fourth quarter.

Russell Westbrook capped the incredible comeback with this 3-pointer to send the game to overtime.

This becoming the norm for Oklahoma City.

NBA: Timberwolves got away with key late foul in win over Pacers

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Paul George expressed extreme dismay after the Pacers’ loss to the Timberwolves last night — the latest cause for concern in Indiana with its biggest star just one season from free agency.

But perhaps George wouldn’t have sounded so disillusioned if that game featured correct officiating down the stretch.

Minnesota’s Kris Dunn got away with fouling Jeff Teague by disrupting the Pacers guard’s speed/quickness/balance rhythm with 21.6 seconds left, according to the NBA’s Last Two Minute Report:

Dunn (MIN) makes contact to Teague’s (IND) arm that affects his SQBR and causes him to lose control of the ball.

Because the Timberwolves were in the penalty, a correct would’ve sent Teague — who’s making 86% of his free throws this season and 84% for his career — to the line. He would’ve had two attempts to build on Indiana’s two-point lead.

Instead, he forced an off-balance shot, which Minnesota rebounded. Ricky Rubio drew a shooting foul on a 3-pointer on the other end, and his three free throws lifted the Timberwolves to a 115-114 win.

The two-minute report featured a few other missed calls: George getting away with pushing off then Wiggins getting away with fouling George on a possession where George missed anyway, Andrew Wiggins getting away with a travel on a possession where Minnesota turned the ball over anyway. But those were effectively wash’s. Dunn’s uncalled foul was the one of consequence — especially if it contributes, even in a small way, to George’s exit from the Pacers.

Edmond Sumner declares for NBA draft despite torn ACL

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Edmond Sumner has grown about five inches since high school.

That has helped turn the 6-foot-5 Xavier point guard into an intriguing NBA prospect — but also seemingly contributed to physical complications. Sumner missed nearly all of his freshman year with knee tendinitis. Then, after a promising second season and start to his third, he tore his ACL in January.

Still, he’s entering the NBA draft.

Sumner:

Rick Broering of Musketeer Report:

Like with Duke’s Harry Giles, medical testing will be huge with Sumner. But at least Giles ended the season on the court. Sumner might not be healthy at all during the pre-draft process.

Sumner looked like a borderline first-round pick before the injury. This probably pushes him into the second round.

His long strides provide impressive speed and quickness, and he’s still shifty. Add quality court vision, and his ability to drive by defenders is even more valuable.

A 6-foot-8 wingspan and good lateral mobility also help make him a quality defender.

But it’s also concerning that so much of his positives could be undermined by his knee issues, especially considering his unreliable jumper. If Sumner can’t move like he did before getting hurt, I don’t see how he sticks in the NBA.

If Sumner’s knees check out, it’s worth rolling the dice on him and hoping his jumper develops. He might even be OK without shooting range, though that’d lower his ceiling considerably.

Again, though, the first thing is examining his knees.