Westbrook had his 31st triple-double of the season to help the Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs 102-92 in Oklahoma City on Thursday night.
The win gives San Antonio its ninth victory in a row, moving the Spurs within two games of the Golden State Warriors for the top spot in the Western Conference.
In a season filled with triple-doubles and unparalleled offensive stats, many are wondering whether the two-way star Kawhi Leonard have any chance at MVP. The Thunder always have played to their potential when Westbrook manages more than takes over, but there have been plenty of games this season when he has rescued them with individual heroics.
With 18 regular-season games to go, all Westbrook has to do is post 11 more triple-doubles.
San Antonio dropped two games behind the Golden State Warriors in the race for the best record in the National Basketball Association. While he has committed a career-high 5.8 turnovers per game too, he is averaging a career-high 11.3 assists and 7.9 rebounds.
Victor Oladipo scored 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting in his second game back since missing six with back spasms. After an overtime loss to the Jazz and hanging around with the Nuggets, Sacramento decided to make things exciting for a half before being thoroughly dismantled in the third and fourth quarters.
Certainly, after the team dropped four-straight contests to sub.500 iterations this Thunder win came as an unexpected surprise.
In Detroit, Reggie Jackson scored 21 points and the Pistons (32-33) overcame LeBron James' 50th career triple-double by downing the Cleveland Cavaliers 106-101.
The dumb narrative about the game is going to be that Russell Westbrook outplayed Kawhi Leonard in their mano-a-mano duel for the MVP, but that didn't have much to do with anything.
Overall, nine Thunder scored 3+ points, while OKC exhibited precise ball movement to amass 23 assists on 41 made baskets. Guard Dejounte Murray started in place of Parker. Darren Collision had 17 points and five assists for Sacramento in the loss.
Before that, Westbrook was walking to the scorer's table midway through the quarter with the Thunder ahead 12.
The pushing and talking continued the rest of the game, but it was the Thunder who seemed to feed of it as they never let the Spurs get into the contest.