OKC Thunder: Russell Westbrook looks like old Russell Westbrook during rout of Pacers

Concerns about Westbrook's health were squashed Sunday as he posts a near triple-double during a 118-94 win over Indiana at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
by Anthony Slater Published: December 8, 2013

Toward the end of Wednesday's loss in Portland, after another hard fall, Russell Westbrook was noticeably limping.

Then, two days later in New Orleans, he missed shootaround with an illness.

Among the Thunder masses, with Westbrook's two offseason knee surgeries still fresh in mind, there seemed a sprouting seed of concern.

Consider it squashed, thanks to his best back-to-back performances of the season, culminating in a near triple-double during Sunday night's dominant 118-94 throttling of the NBA-best 18-3 Indiana Pacers.

“Best game of the season,” teammate Kendrick Perkins said of Westbrook. “I ain't just talking about his scoring or what he did close to a triple-double. I'm talking about he was all over the place, digging, getting back to his man, running people off the three, jumping in the passing lanes.”

From the tip at Chesapeake Energy Arena, Westbrook set a ferocious tone, relentlessly harassing a tired Pacers backcourt around the perimeter and attacking the gut of Indiana's league-best defense on the other end.

Overall, he finished with 26 points, a season-high 13 assists and seven rebounds.

But, as Perkins said, it was far more than numbers.

It was Westbrook's intensity. It was his focus. And it was his ability to set an immediate and continuous tone.

And within it all, it provided another energetic reminder that, along with Friday's big performance in New Orleans, he's slowly getting back to his old ways.

“As good as I've ever seen him,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.

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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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