Past five without Durant
Westbrook had 21 points, 17 assists and eight rebounds in only 27 minutes in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s win over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night. The 17 assists are the most by a Thunder player since the team moved to Oklahoma City prior to the 2008-09 season.
The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Westbrook is the second player in NBA history to have at least 20 points, 15 assists and five rebounds in a game in which he played less than 30 minutes. The other is Magic Johnson, who did it twice -- once in 1984 against the Sacramento Kings and once in 1989 against the Indiana Pacers.
Westbrook shot 44 percent in the first 10 games that he played in but Durant missed, averaging 27.1 points and 7.2 assists as the Thunder went 5-5. He has shot 51 percent and averaged 32.8 points and 10.2 assists in the past five games that Durant has missed. The Thunder are 4-1 in those five games.
He had a new partner to help him along today. Enes Kanter had 20 points and 12 rebounds in his second game with the Thunder. He’s the first Thunder center to have a 20-10 game since the team moved to Oklahoma City.
Westbrook’s MVP case
Westbrook is averaging 26.0 points, 7.7 assists and 6.3 rebounds. Only five players have averaged 26-7-and-6 over a full season: Oscar Robertson, LeBron James, John Havlicek, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.
Westbrook has been responsible for 43.4 points per game this season, a career-high. Only James Harden (44.1) has been responsible for more of his teams points per game this season.