Russell Westbrook named NBA Western Conference player of the month

Russell Westbrook named NBA Western Conference player of the month”

Thunder: Despite the additions of George and Anthony this season, Westbrook leads the team in points, rebounds and assists.

Despite outrebounding the Thunder 45 to 44, Oklahoma received a 21-point benefit from the Lakers' 17 turnovers.

One day after throttling the Los Angeles Lakers by 37 points, the Thunder capped off their two-night stay at Staples Center with a 127-117 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.

After scoring 24 points in his first career start Wednesday, rookie G Terrance Ferguson was back in the lineup. Ferguson got the OKC bench bouncing with a series of spectacular dunks. During that stretch, he's looked exponentially more comfortable operating alongside Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony as they've figured out how to get the offense flowing in clutch situations. The reigning regular-season M.V.P. sneaked up behind the power forward and squirted water over him in the middle of a television interview.

Zach Lowe (ESPN) has the Thunder's variety on his list of things he likes/doesn't like: "Last week, I wrote that Oklahoma City has precisely one crunch-time play beyond high pick-and-rolls for Russell Westbrook: a rote "Hawk" action in which Carmelo Anthony sets an off-ball pick for Paul George before flipping into a ball screen for Westbrook". Expecting Russ to become a different person just because his teammates got better was always foolish. This season, it was hard not to notice Thunder castoffs thriving in their new environments while George and Anthony struggled to recreate their earlier success. Now? I'm very conscious that we're only together for a year so far, and we continue to go in an upward trend.

Lakers hit a 10-2 lead by Kuzma and center Julius Randle.

"We kept them out the paint", George said.

Oklahoma City finished with 36 assists.

"No question, 100 percent", coach Billy Donovan said of Westbrook setting the tone for the rest of the team. "He's getting to his spots on the floor", Donovan said. They've turned around an 8-12 start to move to 20-15, good for fifth in the West and only a couple of games back of fourth. "He probably deserves more playing time", Walton said. He's also somehow only a half-rebound a game away from averaging a triple-double again. "He is really confident in those shots, and I think he missed a lot of those shots early in the year, and I do think a lot of that had to do with him trying to incorporate these other guys and thinking less of himself". And by that, he's able to just play his game, relax and do what he does best.

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