OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook’s athletic prowess is unquestioned. The Oklahoma City star has long been considered one of the best athletes to play the point guard position.
But Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown saw up close and personal what makes Westbrook such a difficult matchup in the NBA when the Thunder decimated the Sixers 125-92 Tuesday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“He is just physically so gifted,” Philly coach Brett Brown said. “He is so competitive. I say this respectfully, there’s an angry competitor that wills his way into doing stuff. I say that with the utmost respect. You saw those physical abilities with just a strong mind. It’s a powerful combination.”
In his sixth game back from injury, Westbrook racked up 13 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists in only 20 minutes and 17 seconds of action for his eighth career triple-double. It was the second-fewest minutes any player has ever needed to reach a triple-double, according to Elias.
“It’s crazy,” Westbrook said. “I’m just trying to get my groove back. Blessed to be able to do that in such a short amount of time.”
Westbrook needed so few minutes because the 76ers (15-46) offered little resistance on their way to a 15th straight defeat.
Oklahoma City (46-15) held a 16-point lead at halftime and torched Philly in the third to put the game away.
The only excitement came when the Sixers’ Michael-Carter Williams began to talk trash to Westbrook. That only incited him to intensify his defense and attack even more on offense.
While Philly focused on Westbrook, Kevin Durant lit up the rest of the team with another night of proficient shooting. Neither touched the court in the fourth quarter.
The 33-point margin is the largest of the season for the Thunder.
Durant hit 14 of 20 shots and surpassed 40 points for the 10th time this season. He had a chance at 50, but he uncharacteristically missed six free throws (12 of 18).