Video: Russell Westbrook Ties Career-High With 45 In Win Over Pelicans

The Oklahoma City Thunder entered into Wednesday night’s match against the New Orleans Pelicans looking for momentum to lift them after their recent skid losing four out of their last six. Earlier in the day, the prospect of getting back on track encountered a hurdle with the announcement Kevin Durant would miss his fourth game out of the last five with a sprained toe. However, Russell Westbrook saw the game in The Big Easy as a must-win, and his performance on Wednesday night certainly lived up to that mentality.

Westbrook came out of the gate on fire, going for 19 points in the first quarter alone – a career-best for points scored in one quarter. While the Thunder trailed 57-51 at halftime, fans could sense it was going to be a special night for Russ, as his scoring tally held at 25 after two quarters compared to his teammates combined total of 26.

With the help of teammate Serge Ibaka, Westbrook made the crucial plays necessary to erase a double-digit lead by New Orleans in the second half and finish on a 13-0 run over the last five minutes. The Thunder needed the win since they’re still on the outside looking in for a playoff spot this season. The 102-91 victory over a hot Pelicans squad was the first step towards getting back in the mix. We’ll see if they can defend their own turf on the back-end of their home-and-home with the Pellies.

Wednesday’s much-needed win by OKC would not have been possible without the passionate and competitive drive of Westbrook. Russ matched his career-high in scoring with 45 points, and also earned his third 40-point game of the season. His previous 45-point game (March 23, 2012) came during a double-overtime game. This time, however, the former Bruin only needed regulation (40 minutes) to hit the mark.

In addition to dropping a career-high on 18-of-31 shooting, Russ added six dimes and six rebounds. Here are all of his highlights from his phenomenal scoring showcase in OKC’s win Wednesday night:

After OKC’s big win, Westbrook relayed his mindset in New Orleans:

“Just trying to find a way to keep us in the game and get us a win,” Westbrook said. “This was a must-win for us coming into their building. That was my only thing.”

Brevity, thy name is Westbrook.

(video via Dawk Ins)

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