Russell Westbrook is having an offensive season for the ages — one that has thrust him right into the middle of the MVP discussion. Friday night he rattled off his third straight triple-double, putting up a line of 40 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. He carried the offensive weight for the Thunder all night.
But it wasn’t enough. Again.
The Thunder blew and 11-point lead to the Trail Blazers in the fourth quarter (although they are far from the first team to do so, Portland executes at the end of games). That is two straight losses. After looking comfortably in the playoffs a couple days ago, Oklahoma City is now just half a game ahead of New Orleans and one game up on Phoenix for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
Westbrook is averaging a triple-double over his last five games: 30.6 points, 11.8 assists, and 10.6 rebounds a night. It’s amazing. He should be near the top of an MVP ballot right now. (Hopefully the blow he took to the side of his head — an inadvertent knee from a teammate — does not turn out to be serious.
But the Thunder need Kevin Durant back.