Oklahoma City — Russell Westbrook continues to reach new heights.
Westbrook recorded his second straight triple-double, and NBA-best seventh of the season, with 17 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Detroit Pistons 106-88 on Saturday night.
Westbrook, who tied LeBron James for sixth on the NBA’s career list with 44 triple-doubles, shot just 8 for 22 from the field after scoring at least 30 points in eight straight games. It was just the second time this year Westbrook failed to score 20.
“I’m happy we won, that’s the most important part for me,” Westbrook said. “But I definitely don’t take anything for granted. Every night I step on the floor, I try to compete at a high level and I’m thankful that I can play the game I love every night.”
It was just the fourth time in 18 games this season that Westbrook did not lead the team in scoring.
“I think his leadership has really stood out in terms of keeping the guys connected together, keeping them working,” coach Billy Donovan said. “But we got a lot of contributions from a lot of different guys.”
Anthony Morrow scored 21 points off the bench to lead the Thunder (10-8), who were playing their fourth game in five nights in four different cities. Victor Oladipo added 18 while Steven Adams had 16 points and nine rebounds.
“Knowing it was the end of a back-to-back and four games in five nights, for the guys to come in with that kind of energy and effort on our home court, that was great,” Morrow said.
Tobias Harris scored 21 points for the Pistons (8-10), who have lost five of their last seven and are just 1-8 on the road.
“We didn’t take care of any of the areas that we were supposed to focus on,” said Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy. “We made very little effort and Oklahoma City played a whole lot harder than us and deserved to win.”
The Thunder enjoyed a comfortable lead for most of the night, but the Pistons used a 12-3 run over a four-minute span early in the third quarter to pull within 65-62 when Harris sank a free throw with 4:31 left.
Oklahoma City outscored Detroit 12-6 the rest of the quarter to take a 77-68 advantage into the final period. Harris made the first basket of the fourth to make it 77-70, but that was as close as the Pistons would get.