Westbrook records 10oth triple-double

Source:AFP Published: 2018/3/14 22:58:40

Raptors rally to win 9th in a row

Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder shoots against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo: VCG

Russell Westbrook snared the 100th triple-double of his career on Tuesday as the Oklahoma City Thunder closed in on a playoff berth with a 119-107 defeat of the Atlanta Hawks.

Westbrook finished with 32 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists to become only the fourth player in NBA history to record a century of triples.

The 29-year-old Thunder star joins Oscar Robertson (181), ­Magic Johnson (138) and Jason Kidd (107) as the latest member of the exclusive club of ­triple-double centurions.

NBA MVP Westbrook had already claimed Robertson's single-­season triple-double record last year, with 42.

Westbrook led the scoring on Tuesday, with Carmelo Anthony adding 21 points and Jerami Grant contributing 20 off the bench as the Thunder improved to 41-29.

Oklahoma City are fourth in the Western Conference standings, two wins ahead of the fifth-placed New Orleans Pelicans.

Although not ­mathematically certain of a place in the post­season, only a major collapse is likely to deny the Thunder a playoff berth.

Elsewhere, the San Antonio Spurs bounced back from Monday's mauling at the hands of Houston with a 108-72 blowout over the Orlando Magic.

LaMarcus Aldridge returned to the starting lineup for San ­Antonio and duly delivered with 24 points. Aldridge was one of six Spurs to make double figures, helping the franchise improve to 38-30 for the season.

San Antonio, who are awaiting the return of Kawhi Leonard from injury, are battling to avoid failing to reach the playoffs for the first time since 1996-97.

In the Eastern Conference, meanwhile, leaders Toronto were forced to dig themselves out of a hole before recovering to seal a ninth straight win in their ­116-102 defeat of the ­Brooklyn Nets.

Jonas Valanciunas led the Raptors' rearguard action with 26 points and 14 rebounds, helping ­Toronto recover from a 74-59 deficit early in the second half to claim a win which saw them seal their 50th win of the season.

D'Angelo Russell led the scoring for the Nets with 32 points.

In Phoenix, LeBron James scored his 14th triple-double of the season - a career high - as the Cleveland Cavaliers demolished the Suns 129-107.

The Cavs improved to 39-28 to remain in fourth spot in the East, behind Toronto, Boston and Indiana.

James lit up the victory with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists on a night when seven Cleveland players posted double-­digit scores.


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