Kurt Helin

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) goes up for a dunk in front of New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Oklahoma City won 116-105. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Associated Press

Russell Westbrook scores 38 in triple-double as Thunder top Knicks

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook scored 38 points and posted his 27th triple-double of the season to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the New York Knicks 116-105 on Wednesday night.

Westbrook moved into sole possession of third place for the most triple-doubles in a season, behind Oscar Robertson’s 41 in 1961-62 and Wilt Chamberlain’s 31 in 1967-68. The star guard had 14 rebounds and 12 assists in the 64th triple-double of his career.

Victor Oladipo scored 21 points and Jerami Grant added 13 for the Thunder, who snapped a two-game skid.

Carmelo Anthony had 30 points for the Knicks after being selected to the All-Star Game as an injury replacement for Kevin Love earlier in the night. Derrick Rose scored 25 and Courtney Lee added 16.

The Knicks jumped out to a 16-2 lead and shot 73 percent in the first quarter to take a 39-27 lead. Anthony made his first seven shots and scored 19 points in the first quarter.

New York led by 17 in the second quarter before the Thunder rallied and took a 62-60 lead at halftime. Westbrook had 19 points and 10 assists at the break.

Westbrook clinched his triple-double on a rebound with about seven minutes left in the third quarter. Oladipo’s 3-pointer as time expired in the period put the Thunder ahead 88-80.

With about five minutes remaining, Westbrook caught Anthony on a pump fake before draining a 3 that put the Thunder up 105-94.

TIP-INS

Knicks: C Joakim Noah and G Brandon Jennings sat out with injuries. Noah missed his fifth straight game with a sore left hamstring, while Jennings sat out with a sore Achilles tendon. … Willy Hernangomez started in Noah’s place and finished with eight points and 10 rebounds. … Anthony was held to one point in the second quarter.

Thunder: G Alex Abrines was added to the Rising Stars Challenge as a replacement for injured Philadelphia big man Joel Embiid. Abrines joins Thunder forward Domantas Sabonis on the World Team. … Thunder owner Clay Bennett presented Westbrook with his All-Star Game jersey before the opening tip. … Former center Kendrick Perkins attended the game. He was at the team’s practice earlier in the day.

 

Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.

Draymond Green ejected after DeMarcus Cousins draws foul (VIDEO)

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It’s a nice change of pace to see the guy covering DeMarcus Cousins flip out after a call they don’t like.

Late in the first half of the Sacramento vs. Golden State game Thursday night, Cousins drove from the arc, spun to the middle and Draymond Green got called for the reach. And he did not like the call. At all. He flipped out, drew a couple of technicals, and got to get to the plane to New Orleans before the rest of this fellow All-Stars.

That gives Green 10 technicals on the season.

The Warriors pulled away in the second half without Green for a comfortable 109-86 win, Klay Thompson led the way with 35 points.

Jahlil Okafor: “I thought it’s a good chance” he would be traded

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 26: Jahlil Okafor #8 of the Philadelphia 76ers controls the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Wells Fargo Center on October 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. The Thunder defeated the 76ers 103-97. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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Jahlil Okafor is back in the lineup for Philadephia against Boston Wednesday night after the Sixers took the unusual step of sitting him out for two games due to trade rumors. Guys have sat before trades before, but it’s usually because something is imminent. Not in this case, Okafor sat two games — maybe as an attempt to drum up interest in a deal for him — and nothing happened.

But he thought he was going to be traded, he told Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com.

“I thought it’s a good chance,” Okafor said Wednesday after going through shootaround. “While I’m not traveling with the team, I was expecting something to happen pretty fast. Nothing did, so I’m back and I’m playing tonight. I did think for a while that I probably wouldn’t be here in Boston right now.”

He added, “It was just a weird situation for me, something I’ve never had to deal with.”

I had heard that talks were somewhat serious with one team, not one on most people’s radar for a trade with Philly, but clearly it didn’t pan out. That could have been part of the smoke screen, or there could have been a little fire there. Sixers coach Brett Brown said there were serious talks, but they fell apart.

“I don’t believe they’re off,” Brett Brown said of trade talks. “I think this particular one has not happened. The trade deadline is whenever it is, it’s probably fluid. The one that was the reason for us reacting to us to Jahlil not being with the team, very advanced discussions, did not happen.”

Okafor could be moved before the Feb. 23 trade deadline, but the Sixers are not going to get much in return. Okafor has a valuable NBA skill — he can score the rock inside. He’s averaging 11.6 points a game this season shooting 51.3 percent, and 78 percent of his shots come within 10 feet of the rim. The problem is every other part of his game — he can’t space the floor, he doesn’t defend well, he’s not strong on the boards for a big, and he doesn’t fit the direction of the modern NBA with bigs. Teams are not going to give up much to get him. As the Sixers are finding.

Manu Ginobili with ridiculous no-look pass to Kawhi Leonard for dunk (VIDEO)

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Tuesday, we were rightfully praising LeBron James for maybe the best pass of the year, a no-look between Andrew Wiggins‘ legs for a Derrick Williams dunk.

Wednesday, Manu Ginobili reminded us all he’s the master of the no-look with a dish in transition to Kawhi Leonard for the dunk.

San Antonio picked up the win, 107-79, behind 23 from Kawhi Leonard.

Carmelo Anthony to get Kevin Love’s spot in All-Star Game Sunday

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 12:  Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks reacts after he is called for a foul in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden on January 12, 2017 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Kevin Love earned a spot in the All-Star Game this Sunday in New Orleans with his strongest season as a Cavalier, averaging 20 points and 11 boards a game. But the knee surgery he underwent Tuesday killed that weekend in the Big Easy.

Carmelo Anthony has been named his replacement, something first reported by Marc Stein of ESPN and since confirmed by the league.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver gets to name the replacement, and traditionally he has followed the coaches vote — which is not public — to award the slot. Anthony finished eighth in the fan/player/media voting overall, he was sixth with the fans and other players but 12th with the media. Anthony finished behind teammate Kristaps Porzingis on that metric overall, but he was the highest voted player by the fans not in the game (save for Love and Joel Embiid, both of whom are out injured and will not participate in the weekend).

Anthony is averaging 23.2 points and 6.1 rebounds a game for the Knicks this season, but he has torn it up since learning he would not be an All-Star after the team announcement a few weeks back.