The NBA’s Christmas scheduled lost a little luster when it was declared that Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant would miss the mid-day matchup at the San Antonio Spurs with the sprained ankle that has kept him out of four-straight games. Yet the contest itself was not lacking in star power, because his teammate Russell Westbrook provided more than enough to keep the TV audience interested.
The star guard finished with 34 points (14-of-28 FG), 11 assists, five rebounds, and five steals in a 114-106 win after a run of three losses in four games. As noted by Dan Feldman at ProBasketballTalk, no player had achieved those totals since Baron Davis in April 2005. The highlights are just as impressive:
Discussions of Westbrook almost always come around to questions regarding his decision-making late in games and penchant for taking ill-advised shots, but those qualities are also part of why he’s so dangerous in the first place. Yet Westbrook exercised some restraint on Christmas, not taking a shot in the final 3:40 as his team iced the game.
Regardless, it’s clear that the Thunder would like Durant to get back on the floor soon, even if his status and eventual return remain uncertain. Until then, though, Westbrook will do his best to keep the team in contention.
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