Road woes continue for Pistons in Oklahoma City
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook continues to reach new heights.
Westbrook recorded his second straight triple-double, and NBA-best seventh of the season, with 17 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Detroit Pistons 106-88 on Saturday night.
Westbrook, who tied LeBron James for sixth on the NBA’s career list with 44 triple-doubles, shot just 8 for 22 from the field after scoring at least 30 points in eight straight games. It was just the second time this year Westbrook failed to score 20.
"I’m happy we won, that’s the most important part for me," Westbrook said. "But I definitely don’t take anything for granted. Every night I step on the floor, I try to compete at a high level and I’m thankful that I can play the game I love every night."
It was just the fourth time in 18 games this season that Westbrook did not lead the team in scoring.
"I think his leadership has really stood out in terms of keeping the guys connected together, keeping them working," coach Billy Donovan said. "But we got a lot of contributions from a lot of different guys."
Anthony Morrow scored 21 points off the bench to lead the Thunder (10-8), who were playing their fourth game in five nights in four different cities. Victor Oladipo added 18 while Steven Adams had 16 points and nine rebounds.
"Knowing it was the end of a back-to-back and four games in five nights, for the guys to come in with that kind of energy and effort on our home court, that was great," Morrow said.
Tobias Harris scored 21 points for the Pistons (8-10), who have lost five of their last seven and are just 1-8 on the road.
"We didn’t take care of any of the areas that we were supposed to focus on," said Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy. "We made very little effort and Oklahoma City played a whole lot harder than us and deserved to win."
The Thunder enjoyed a comfortable lead for most of the night, but the Pistons used a 12-3 run over a four-minute span early in the third quarter to pull within 65-62 when Harris sank a free throw with 4:31 left.
Oklahoma City outscored Detroit 12-6 the rest of the quarter to take a 77-68 advantage into the final period. Harris made the first basket of the fourth to make it 77-70, but that was as close as the Pistons would get.
Pistons: A night after a 108-97 home victory over the Clippers, the Pistons were basically never in this one. They scored the game’s first basket, then proceeded to miss 11 consecutive shots as Oklahoma City went on a 14-0 run to take control. … The Pistons shot just 1 for 19 on 3-point attempts. . Marcus Morris scored 10 points in the first quarter, then was shut out, shooting 0 for 7 the rest of the night.
Thunder: Morrow enjoyed his best outing of the year in a season-high 26:24, shooting 8 of 12 from the floor, including 3 for 6 from 3-point range. … The Thunder, who entered the night ranked 17th in the NBA with a 74.9 free throw percentage, shot just 53.8 percent (14 of 26) from the line. . Oklahoma City won for the first time this season in the second half of back-to-back sets, improving to 1-3 in that situation.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"To put up those numbers and the people that are in that category, he’s a Hall of Fame player, that’s really what he is," Donovan said of Westbrook climbing the triple-double list. "It’s really remarkable what he’s doing. It’s one of those things, as a coach, you feel very blessed and fortunate to be able to work with somebody like that every single day."
Pistons: Detroit continues its four-game road trip Tuesday at Charlotte for the first of four meetings against the Hornets this season. The Pistons have lost three in a row in Charlotte.
Thunder: Go back on the road to face the Knicks in New York on Monday. The Thunder went 1-1 against the Knicks last season, with the away team winning both matchups.