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Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook provides a lift in his return

In his first game back from a pair of knee surgeries, Russell Westbrook put up 21 points, seven assists and four rebounds.
by Anthony Slater Published: November 3, 2013
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Re-energizing a previously stagnant offense, Westbrook scored on a pair of acrobatic layups, found Derek Fisher and Serge Ibaka for two crucial and-1s, then finished off the game with four clutch free throws.

“It's Russell Westbrook,” Durant said. “Three-time All-Star, 23 (points), five (rebounds) and seven (assists) the last three years. They got to respect it. He put pressure on the defense all night.”

The Thunder, now 2-1 on the season, will face Dallas in a nationally televised game on Wednesday night at 8:30.

There's still plenty of early season kinks OKC must work through, particularly its steady long-range shooting struggles (the Thunder was 2-of-18 from three on the game).

But with Westbrook back in the lineup, optimism reigns.

“He wins,” coach Scott Brooks said. “He's a winner. It's not always going to be perfect, but he plays with everything he has every night.”

And on this night — home-opening night — that was good enough for OKC.