It was the fourth time this season that Westbrook has registered at least 10 assists. Last season, Westbrook had just four regular season games with 10-plus assists, and just six when you include the playoffs. Friday's tally ticked Westbrook's average to 8.5 on the year, 0.3 more than his career-high from two seasons ago.
“I'm just getting in the paint,” Westbrook said of his success as a passer. “When I go to the basket a lot of guys are collapsing on me and guys are open. And my job is to make sure to get the ball there on time and on target.”
Led by Westbrook's set-ups, the Thunder recorded a season-high 31 assists. Only nine of the team's made field goals went unassisted. A byproduct of that ball movement was a season-high 14 made 3-pointers, something that blew Brooks' mind after the game.
“I don't think we can count on that night in and night out,” he said. “But they were falling.”
Westbrook, ironically, missed all four of his 3-point bombs. He made just three of 11 shots Friday, which dropped him to 69-for-178 on the season, a 38.7 percent clip that is now below the 39.8 percent he shot as rookie. But he admitted he's trying to do other things to help his team win while his shot continues to fail him.
“That's all that matters in this league,” Westbrook said. “It's not about me making shots. It's not about me scoring a certain amount of points. That's not the issue. Our (focus) is on winning games and that's all I try to do.”
The Hornets might have been the first team this season to feel Westbrook's wrath defensively. But he vows that they won't be the last.
“That's just what I have to do personally, defensively, for us to win,” Westbrook said. “That's definitely something you're going to see every night from me.”