Triple-doubles are starting to become the norm for Russell Westbrook, who continues to do it all for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Westbrook tries to lead them to a three-game season sweep and sixth consecutive home win over the last-place Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.
After finishing with 36 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists in Friday’s 123-115 win over Atlanta, Westbrook had 12 points, 10 boards and a career high-tying 17 assists as Oklahoma City (40-30) cruised past Miami 93-75 on Sunday. Westbrook’s triple-double was his 10th this season, the most by any player since Jason Kidd recorded 13 in 2007-08.
Westbrook is averaging NBA bests of 31.6 points and 11.3 assists since the All-Star break to go with 9.7 rebounds per game. The Thunder have won three straight overall 19 of 21 at home.
"I’m just trying to find my teammates. A lot of teams our doubling and putting a lot of pressure on me, my job is to find my guys and get them open shots," Westbrook said. "We have a lot of guys down, a lot of guys keep getting hurt. We just need to keep coming out and keep competing."
Already without Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka, the Thunder saw starting guard Andre Roberson go down with a sprained ankle. Roberson is only averaging 3.5 points, but his absence could give eighth-place Oklahoma City yet another obstacle to overcome.
"We have to match the intensity of what it takes to make an NBA game successful. You have to focus on playing possession by possession and game by game," coach Scott Brooks told the team’s official website. "Russell has done a great job of leading us in that category and just making sure that we’re all on the same page."
Westbrook has been looking for newcomer Enes Kanter more and more. Kanter (ankle) sat out against the Hawks before returning to post 27 points and 12 rebounds Sunday, with Westbrook assisting on six of Kanter’s 12 field goals.
Kanter is averaging 21.1 points and 12.1 boards in his last seven games.
"He has the ability to score around the basket," Brooks said of Kanter, acquired from Utah before the trade deadline. "We’re implementing new sets by the day. … He’s done a good job and Russell has done a good job of finding him."
The Thunder are 15-4 in their last 19 against the Lakers – including playoffs – after taking this season’s first two meetings in Los Angeles. Westbrook had 31 points, five rebounds and 10 assists in a 104-103 victory Dec. 19 before sitting out with a facial fracture in a 108-101 win March 1.
Los Angeles has been outscored by an average of 18.4 points during a five-game road losing streak in the regular-season series.
Snapping that skid could prove difficult for a Lakers team that’s dropped four straight and 15 of 16 on the road.
The Lakers had lost four in a row overall before beating Philadelphia 101-87 on Sunday. Jeremy Lin scored a season-high 29 points as Los Angeles shot 48.1 percent for its highest mark in 13 games.
"Obviously, I would love to be in the starting lineup, but nothing’s guaranteed at this point," said Lin, who has come off the bench in his last 25 games. ”I mean, (68) games into the season, I’m just trying to stay focused on doing what I’m supposed to do when I get in there."
Lin, averaging 11.1 points, has scored a combined 32 on 12-of-21 shooting against the Thunder this season.