The Thunder needed Russell Westbrook to have a superior game on Christmas. He happily obliged with 34 points, 11 dimes, five rebounds and five steals in 34 minutes of action. Even if his shoot-first mentality has come under even more scrutiny the last week with Kevin Durant trying to recover from a sprained ankle, there are few who compete at his level and with his measure of athleticism. Russ even agreed to wear a mic!
Before we get to his mic’d up performance, lets look at a couple trademark Russ drives. The first is a simple hesitation dribble on Tony Parker before jumping across the paint to avoid Tim Duncan and bank it in on the other side. No big deal.
On this drive into the heart of the Spurs D, it looks like Russ is going to try and flush it over everyone. Instead, the ball gets knocked ball loose and it still drops true.
Those are the bounces you get sometimes when you’re constantly attacking like Westbrook. We’re even treated to an audible BOOM during this cut of him during the game:
Westbrook finished 14-for-28 from the field, but he only attempted one 3-pointer on the day, preferring to rely on his deadly pull-up, or simply drive it all the way to the cup like he did above.
It was an over-reliance on shots from beyond the arc that’s given opposing defenses a possession off, but Westbrook kept attacking all game tonight, and that’s why he was able to — with 21 points from Serge Ibaka, 15 from Anthony Morrow and a double-double from Steven Jackson — lead the Thunder to the 114-106 win.
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