The Thunder guard scored the most points ever in a playoff triple-double Wednesday night, finishing with 51 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds, but went cold in the fourth quarter as the Thunder fell 115-111 to the Houston Rockets.
Game 1: James Harden finished with 37 points, nine assists and seven rebounds to lead the Rockets, while backcourt mate Patrick Beverly poured in a playoff career-high 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his second career postseason double-double.
No one's ever produced a playoff triple-double like it in the history of the National Basketball Association - but still it wasn't enough for Steven Adams' Oklahoma City Thunder. But after a sizzling three quarters, he went just 4-for-18 in the fourth quarter as the Rockets rallied behind 11 fourth-quarter points from Eric Gordon.
"I trust my teammates all the time, regardless of what's going on I'm always trusting my guys", Westbrook said after the loss. The NBA has fined the veteran point guard $15,000 for using inappropriate language during his postgame press conference following Game 2 against the Houston Rockets.
He finished with 51 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds. The Rockets needed their three-man second unit to turn around Game 2 against the Thunder and perhaps take control of the first-round series. Instead of moving the ball around to try and create open looks and wear down the Rockets' defense he took it upon himself to try and shoot his team back into the game. Westbrook had four straight points to start a 7-1 run after that, but the Thunder wouldn't get any closer. He shot 17-of-43 for the game, 2-of-11 from behind the 3-point line.
42 triple doubles, 82 games, one player: Russell Westbrook. Harden has help across the floor and board, especially when it comes to shooters, while Westbrook does not. But, even the greatest player of all time couldn't get the job done without a capable wingman, or two.
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Westbrook, as dominating as he was, led Oklahoma City to a 47-35 record, good for the sixth-best record in the Western Conference.
The Thunder led by three entering the fourth quarter and scored the first five points of the period, highlighted by a 3-pointer from Doug McDermott, to make it 94-86.
Russ took more shots than the rest of the Thunder combined in the second half (28-22), and that resulted in 28 percent shooting as a team after they hit on 55 percent in the first half.
Los Angeles stormed to a 12-point lead in the first quarter, reeling off the kind of dunks that earned the team's Lob City moniker years ago.
Oklahoma City Thunder Lineups: PG Russell Westbrook, SG Victor Oladipo, SF Andre Roberson, PF Taj Gibson, C Steven Adams. The Rockets shot 38% and made their shots and threes when they mattered the most. To be fair, Roberson solidly guarded James Harden for most of the night, helping the Thunder lead by as many as 15 in the first quarter and 12 in the third.
The one thing about playing at home during the playoffs is that the role players play better. The Rockets outscored the Thunder by two points when Harden was on the bench. "We need him to have big efforts, and I think in the fourth quarter he was able to provide that".