The Thunder got bad news about Kevin Durant on the same day that the Atlanta Hawks were coming to down. That has recipe for an emotional letdown and an ugly loss.
Russell Westbrook refused to let that happen.
It was another MVP-level performance for Westbrook, who had his ninth triple-double of the season — 36 points (15 in the fourth quarter), 14 assists, and 10 rebounds. The Thunder went on a 19-2 run in the fourth quarter to pick up the 123-115 win. Dion Waiters was also key with 26 points.
It couldn’t have come at a better time. The Pelicans — without Anthony Davis — lost to the Warriors. That gives OKC a two-game lead over New Orleans for the final playoff spot in the West. Without Durant or Serge Ibaka down the stretch, it’s going to take more games like this from Westbrook to get OKC in the postseason.