Westbrook gets triple-double but Suns beat Thunder 117-113
Feb. 27, 2015
PHOENIX (AP) — Point guard matchups don't get much better than the one Thursday night in Phoenix.
Russell Westbrook got the triple-double, Eric Bledsoe got the victory.
Westbrook scored 39 points in his 12th career triple-double but missed what would have been the game-tying layup with 5.7 seconds left in overtime, and the Suns beat Oklahoma City 117-113 to snap the Thunder's seven-game winning streak.
"It was an epic battle," Phoenix's P.J. Tucker said. "They both played really well, we just came out on top."
Bledsoe just missed a triple-double with 28 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists. He took 22 fewer shots than Westbrook and made one fewer basket.
According to information provided to the Suns by Elias, it was the third time in NBA history that opposing players totaled at least 28 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists in the same game.
Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks called Westbrook "as quick and as powerful as any guard in this league."
Westbrook missed his first eight shots and made 12 of a career-high 38. He was 1 of 10 from 3-point range, but scored 31 in the second half and overtime of his fourth triple-double this season.
"Honestly, I think I was actually shooting too much," Westbrook said. "I think I got to do a better job of trusting my teammates more. I am not saying I don't, but consistently trusting them regardless of what is going on, regardless of the time, score and possession. Just find a way to trust them and let them make some plays as well."
Bledsoe was the last Phoenix point guard standing after Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas were traded away last Thursday, and he's trying to assume a bigger leadership role, even with the arrival of fellow point guard Brandon Knight.
"I just tried to show a little more enthusiasm," Bledsoe said. "My teammates, they feed off of that. That's what my coaches have been telling me, that's what my team has been telling me, just step up and that's what I'm trying to do."
Markieff Morris scored 29 for the Suns, who pulled within 1½ games of the Thunder for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Thunder were without Kevin Durant for the fourth straight game.
"They are a good team, even without Durant," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. "They've got players out there that can really play. I just give them all the credit. I thought they played a great game."
Bledsoe's driving reverse layup put the Suns up 115-111 with 1:51 left in overtime.
Alex Len blocked D.J. Augustin's shot and Dion Waiters threw the ball away for the Thunder before Westbrook's drive cut it to 115-113 with 35 seconds left.
Serge Ibaka blocked Bledsoe's shot, resulting in a 24-second shot clock violation. Westbrook broke free on a drive to the hoop but missed, crashing to the court. P.J. Tucker's two free throws for the Suns completed the scoring.
Phoenix was playing for the second night in a row, winning at Denver on Wednesday, but there was no sign of a lack of energy.
Each team converted a three-point play in the final 20.5 seconds of regulation. Markieff Morris sank a 13-footer from the lane, was fouled by Andre Roberson, and made the free throw to put Phoenix up 109-106. But Westbrook drove to the hoop, scored and was fouled by Tucker. The free throw tied it at 109 with 13.4 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
The Suns couldn't get off a decent shot on their last possession and the game went into overtime.
"It's going to be who is making their shots down the stretch," Brooks said. "I thought they did a good job of playing their style and we didn't."
Thunder: Oklahoma City made three of its first 18 shots and Westbrook had one point after the first quarter. .. The Thunder's 15 points matched their lowest-scoring first quarter of the season. ... Westbrook had his fifth straight 20-point, 10-assist game. ... Oklahoma as 2-for-12 shooting in the overtime.
Suns: Earl Barron, on a 10-day contract, sank a pair of jumpers to help Phoenix build its first-quarter lead. ... Phoenix beat the Thunder for the first time in three tries this season.
Thunder: At Portland on Friday night.
Suns: Host San Antonio on Saturday night.