George, Westbrook lead Thunder past Grizzlies 137-123
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 12, 2018 10:39 AM
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George (13) dunks in front of Memphis Grizzlies guard Kobi Simmons (2) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, April 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
By Cliff Brunt, Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Paul George scored 40 points, Russell Westbrook clinched a triple-double average for the second straight season and the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 137-123 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time).
Westbrook entered the night needing 16 rebounds to clinch the triple-double average. He pulled down his 16th rebound with just over nine minutes left in the third quarter and received a standing ovation. He finished with just six points, but had a career-high 20 rebounds and 19 assists.
Steven Adams scored 24 points and Corey Brewer added 17 for the Thunder, who matched a franchise record with 20 made three-pointers.
The win was critical — with a loss, the Thunder would have been a No. 8 seed and forced to play No. 1 seed Houston in the first round.
Dillon Brooks scored a career-high 36 points for Memphis.
Westbrook had one of the most unique first halves of his career to help the Thunder take a 20-point lead. He had 12 assists and 11 rebounds, yet only scored one point and took two shots. George scored 26 points on 9-of-10 shooting, including 5-of-5 three-pointers in the first half to help Oklahoma City score a season-high 77 points in the first half.
Brooks scored 16 points in the third quarter to help the Grizzlies trim their deficit to 105-96 at the end of the third quarter. The Grizzlies scored 39 points in the period.
Memphis hung tough in the fourth quarter before back-to-back three-pointers by Terrance Ferguson and George pushed Oklahoma City's lead to 133-116.
Grizzlies: Marc Gasol (rest), Tyreke Evans (personal reasons), JaMychal Green (knee soreness), Wayne Selden Jr. (right knee soreness), Andrew Harrison (right wrist/left shoulder) and Jarell Martin (left ankle) all sat out.
Thunder: Westbrook brought F Nick Collison out to midcourt with him before the game. Westbrook said he wasn't sure if it would be the 37-year-old Collison's last regular-season game, but he wanted the crowd to acknowledge Collison's contribution to the franchise. ... G Alex Abrines (concussion protocol) did not play. ... Westbrook had seven assists in the first quarter. ... Brewer was fouled on a three-pointer in the fourth quarter and left the game for good with a knee sprain.
Grizzlies: Season is over.
Thunder: Will open the playoffs this weekend.