NBA News & Notes: Westbrook putting up monster numbers for Thunder

November 1, 2016

Many felt former Thunder star forward Kevin Durant would finally be able to shine without Russell Westbrook getting so many touches, but perhaps they had it backward, as Westbrook has had an electric start to the 2016-2017 NBA season with Durant no longer in Oklahoma City.  For the latest NBA news, read below:

Westbrook rolling without Durant 


That’s the word Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams used to describe teammate Russell Westbrook’s 51-point, 13-rebound, 10-assist performance in Friday’s overtime win over Phoenix.

Adams’ nonchalance is understandable, given that Westbrook is coming off a season in which he posted 18 triple-doubles (most in the NBA since the 1981-82 season) and joined Oscar Robertson as the only players to average at least 23 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds for a season.

Even measured against last season, though, Westbrook is off to a remarkable start. He produced another triple-double on Sunday, finishing with 33 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds as the Thunder defeated the Lakers to improve to 3-0. His averages in three games: 38.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 11.7 assists.

Other highlights from Westbrook’s staggering opening week include:

• Westbrook is the first player to record two triple-doubles in the first three games of the season since Magic Johnson in the 1982-83 season.
• He is the first player to score at least 50 points in a triple-double since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975.
• He is the first player with at least 100 points, 30 rebounds and 30 assists through his team's first three games of a season.

Westbrook and the Thunder hit the road for their next two games, both on national television:

Oklahoma City visits the Clippers on Wednesday (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) and faces Kevin Durant and the Warriors on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET, TNT).

Ricky Rubio out indefinitely with elbow injury

The Minnesota Timberwolves announced that Rick Rubio underwent an evaluation this evening by team orthopedic surgeon Diane Dahm of Mayo Clinic which confirmed the initial diagnosis of a sprained right elbow. Rubio will be listed as out indefinitely and his status will be updated as appropriate.

Rubio suffered the injury at the 6:28 mark of the fourth quarter of Minnesota’s 106-103 loss at Sacramento on Saturday.

NBA to roll out the red carpet

The NBA announced that the first-ever NBA Awards Show will take place in New York City on Monday, June 26, 2017.  Televised exclusively by TNT, the show will feature current and former NBA players, coaches and celebrities.

The star-studded event will recognize NBA players, teams, coaches and executives for their accomplishments and performances from the 2016-17 NBA season.

The show will feature the announcements of the NBA Most Valuable Player, NBA Defensive Player of the Year, NBA Rookie of the Year, NBA Sixth Man Award, NBA Most Improved Player, and Coach of the Year.

Talkin' Smack

 Nathaniel Friedman, GQ:
“Right now we’re at the leading edge of a low-key Golden Age of big men in the NBA.”

Jesse Blancarte, Basketball Insiders:
“[T]he first few days of the 2016-17 season have served as a strong reminder that the NBA is flooded with top-level talent and a wave of younger players who are on the path to stardom.”

Doc Rivers, Clippers coach:
“LeBron has a different game. We’re so used to seeing skill looking graceful. We’re not used to seeing skill look so powerful. I think that rubs people wrong. But LeBron, statistically, championship-wise, he’s one of the top-five players to ever play the game.”
DeMarcus Cousins fined for throwing mouthpiece

Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has been fined $25,000 and assessed a technical foul for throwing his mouthpiece and entering the spectator stands, it was announced by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 37.2 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of Sacramento’s 106-103 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Oct. 29 at Golden 1 Center.

To view the play, click on the following link:

LeBron, Westbrook earn NBA Player of the Week honors

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Tuesday, Oct. 25 through Sunday, Oct. 30.

James helped the Cavaliers to a 3-0 week behind averages of 21.0 points, 10.0 assists (third in the East) and 8.3 rebounds.  He opened the season on Oct. 25 with a triple-double, recording 19 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds in a 117-88 victory over the New York Knicks.  On Oct. 28, in a rematch of the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals against the Toronto Raptors, James tallied 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in a 94-91 win.

Westbrook led the Thunder to a 3-0 week behind a league-leading 38.7 points and 11.7 assists to go with 12.3 rebounds (tied for fourth in the West).  On Oct. 28, he posted 51 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in a 113-110 overtime victory over the Phoenix Suns – the NBA’s first triple-double with 50 points since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975.  He added another triple-double on Oct. 30, finishing with 33 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds in a 113-96 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.  Westbrook is the first player to record two triple-doubles in the first three games of the season since Magic Johnson in the 1982-83 season.  He is also the first player in NBA history to tally at least 100 points, 30 rebounds and 30 assists through his team’s first three games.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Paul Millsap, Boston’s Avery Bradley, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving, Detroit’s Andre Drummond, Golden State’s Kevin Durant, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Portland’s Damian Lillard, San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard, and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas.

The Numbers

  • Damian Lillard: The two-time All-Star guard (35.0 points per game) is the first player in Trail Blazers history to score at least 100 points in the first three games of a season.

  • Avery Bradley: The seventh-year guard recorded career highs of eight three-pointers and 11 rebounds in Boston’s victory over Charlotte on Saturday. He is averaging 21.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists in three games.

  • Kawhi Leonard: The Spurs have opened 4-0 behind Leonard, who is averaging 28.0 points, 4.3 assists and 3.25 steals.

  • Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade: The Bulls’ new starting backcourt has helped Chicago win its first two games, with Rondo handing out 13 assists in Saturday’s victory over Indiana and Wade hitting four three-pointers (three fewer than he made in 74 games last season) in a season-opening win against Boston.

  • Thabo Sefolosha: In Atlanta’s 2-0 start, the reserve swingman has made 10-of-12 shots and totaled 24 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and six steals in 41 minutes.

  • NBA anniversary: Tuesday marks the 70-year anniversary of the NBA’s first game. On Nov. 1, 1946, the New York Knickerbockers defeated the Toronto Huskies 68-66 at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.

  • NBA Development League Draft: The Erie BayHawks selected former Lakers forward Anthony Brown with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA D-League Draft on Sunday. Complete results of the six-round draft are available here.

  • Deron Williams: The Dallas guard (6,473) needs four assists to pass Nate Archibald (6,476) for 22nd place on the NBA’s all-time list.

  • Vince Carter: The 39-year-old Grizzlies swingman (23,995) is five points shy of becoming the 24th player in NBA history with 24,000 career points.

By Staff of and news services

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