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Continued growth: Thunder guard Russell Westbrook just misses posting a triple-double

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, Modified: October 14, 2009 at 12:22 pm •  Published: October 13, 2009
After a two-city tour, Russell Westbrook brought his show home Monday night.

And what a show it’s been.

In the Thunder’s 110-105 overtime win over Phoenix, the second-year point guard displayed to his home fans the continued development he’s shown throughout this preseason.

Westbrook scored 10 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and dished nine assists in 26 minutes. He again played with confidence and control, showing complete command of the offense and newfound patience that he lacked last season. Westbrook made five of eight shots, turned the ball over just three times and came away with two steals.

"It is the preseason, but that’s all we have to judge Russell Westbrook on right now,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "We still have some work to do, but with Russell, like I’ve said many times before, he’s only 20 years old and for the next 10 years you’re going to see a lot of improvement.”

Westbrook, who led the league in turnovers last season, now has 27 assists to only five turnovers through three games. He’s purposely passed up his own offense to get his teammates more involved. Westbrook’s never taken more than eight shots in a game, instead focusing more on the defensive end. Suns starting point guard Steve Nash finished with nine points and seven assists but also had four turnovers.

"It feels real good,” Westbrook said. "You have to give credit to my teammates as well, knocking down big shots and finishing plays.”