OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) —Russell Westbrook set an NBA record with his 10th straight triple-double, Paul George scored 47 points, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Portland Trail Blazers 120-111 on Monday night.
Westbrook broke a tie with Wilt Chamberlain, who had nine straight triple-doubles in 1968, by finishing with 21 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. He clinched the record on an assist to George for a 3-pointer with 3:52 remaining in the fourth quarter. It was his 23rd triple-double of the season and the 127th of his career.
George had 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the third triple-double of his career. Rookie Deonte Burton had a career-high 18 points and Raymond Felton added a season-high 15 for the Thunder.
The Thunder shot 56 percent in the first half to lead 68-49 at the break. George scored 21 points and Felton added 15.
The Trail Blazers started the second half on a 7-0 run to make things interesting, and they trimmed Oklahoma City’s lead to 87-82 by the end of the third quarter.
Westbrook had five assists heading into the fourth, and he re-entered the game after a rest with 9:36 remaining. He got his first assist of the quarter with 6:54 left, but was up to his ninth with 4:57 to play.
Jamal Murray throws himself off-backboard alley-oop in traffic (video)
But this play during the Nuggets’ win over the Thunder yesterday? Brilliant.
Caught picking up his dribble and seemingly well-defended, Murray flipped the ball off the backboard then finished his own alley-oop.
That’s obviously a flashy move, but it’s also an effective one more players should use. The backboard can be an effective weapon for passing, especially for a player to himself, when he knows exactly where he’s putting the ball and can get a step ahead of the defense.
Brandon Clarke bullies Ian Mahinmi with monster dunk (video)
At least Patty Mills spared San Antonio a sixth overtime period in these four games. After DeMar DeRozan missed a free throw, Mills hit the game-winner in a 121-119 victory over the Suns yesterday.
And at least the Spurs are mostly winning these longer games. In this span, San Antonio beat the Rockets in double overtime, beat the Kings, lost to the Cavaliers and now beat the Suns. I’d also argue the Cleveland result was worth it.
Report: Luka Doncic might return to Mavericks within a couple weeks
Whether this timeline constitutes good news or bad news depends on your perspective.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
Luka Doncic might be able to return within a couple of weeks after suffering a moderate right ankle sprain last night, sources told ESPN. Doncic likely misses upcoming stretch vs. East power (Bucks, Celtics, 76ers and Raptors this week), but Mavs feel they dodged a bullet.
Doncic’s injury is a blow not just to Dallas, but the NBA. He’s one of the league’s brightest stars. In the next eight days, the Mavericks make their only appearances of the season in Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Toronto.
Though Doncic has played like an MVP candidate, the Mavericks also boast considerable depth. They’ve outscored opponents by 8.0 points per 100 possessions without Doncic.
Those non-Doncic lineups will be thrust into more difficult situations now. That net rating will likely drop, especially against a tough upcoming schedule. Dallas might have been in line for some losses, even with Doncic. So, don’t overreact to that.
But the Mavericks can remain at least competitive without their best player.