MINNEAPOLIS -- With an emphatic 37-point game against the Minnesota Timberwolves to close the season in a 138-113 win on Wednesday, Russell Westbrook is the 2014-15 scoring champion with an average of 28.1 points per game.
Westbrook had 23 points in the first quarter (a Thunder record) and 34 points in the first half (also a Thunder record). "He's had a season for the ages," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "He's done things on both ends, rebounding, passing, scoring, defending, that hasn't been seen in decades."
However, even with the Thunder's win, they missed out on the playoffs for the first time since 2008-09, their inaugural season in Oklahoma City.
"S---," Westbrook said when asked what the scoring title means to him. "It doesn't mean nothing. Good job. Hooray. I'm at home. Watching other teams play. Doesn't mean nothing."
Westbrook said at shootaround earlier in the day he'd "rather be in the playoffs than win the scoring title, to tell you the truth."
It's only the fifth time since 1976 a scoring champion misses the playoffs, and the first time since Tracy McGrady in the 2004 season.
Five of the past six scoring titles have come from a Thunder player (Kevin Durant has won four of the past five), and this is the first time since the 1952 and 1953 seasons (Paul Arizin and Neil Johnston with the Philadelphia Warriors) that players on the same team have won back-to-back scoring titles.