Russell Westbrook jumped the passing lane, gathered the steal, bolted down the sideline and hammered home a tomahawk slam over a retreating Kemba Walker.
All in a blur.
It was the type of athletic sequence that has come to define the early part of Westbrook’s career. But it was the kind of top-level explosion we had yet to see in his latest return from knee surgery.
Good sign for Westbrook, great sign for the Thunder – the biggest highlight in Oklahoma City’s 116-99 win over the Charlotte Bobcats.
“That steal and the dunk,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “It was vintage Russell.”
But the slam was only part of Westbrook’s big night.
Still on a minute restriction, the Thunder’s All-Star point guard packed a whole lot of production into half a game.
In 24 minutes, Westbrook dropped 26 points on an efficient 10-of-12 shooting, the best field goal percentage game of his career.
And he did a ton of damage from deep, hitting four of OKC’s eight 3-pointers on only five of the Thunder’s 22 attempts.
In the past four games, Westbrook, a career 30 percent 3-point shooter, is 10-of-17 from deep.
“He’s at a good place right now,” Brooks said. “I really like where he’s at.”
And this prime performance came on a night when it was sorely needed. Kevin Durant had one of his worst shooting nights of the year, going 8-of-24 overall, 0-of-6 from three and missed 14 straight shots at one point.
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