Thunder Insider: Larry Bird, Jerry West, James Worthy, Scottie Pippen — and Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook chose the wrong time to make a fashion statement.
The big ol', Steve Urkel-like set of bifocals he wore into his postgame press conference couldn't have been more out of place. Because the Thunder's often picked apart point guard proved in the biggest game of his life that on the court he has 20/20 vision.
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Westbrook was the offensive catalyst for the Thunder's series-clinching 105-90 Game 7 win over Memphis on Sunday. The Thunder is now moving on to face the Dallas Mavericks in its first-ever Western Conference Finals because Westbrook's floor leadership was too much for the Grizzlies to handle.
Westbrook's final line: 14 points with 10 rebounds and 14 assists.
He had one more assist than Memphis mustered as a team.
He had the first triple-double in a Game 7 since Scottie Pippen in 1992.
He had only the fifth triple-double in Game 7 history, joining Jerry West (1969), Larry Bird (1984), James Worthy (1988) and Pippen (1992).
Read that list again. Now feel free to re-evaluate your opinion of Westbrook.
“Russell has improved as quickly as any player that came out of college that did not play point (guard) in college,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “He gets picked on a little bit. But he keeps playing. He keeps improving. He keeps getting better. And tonight, he controlled the game.”
Westbrook's 14 assists were spread among five players. Those dishes led to 33 points.
While Kevin Durant's eye-popping 39-point performance in this Game 7 will go down as a defining moment in his career, it was Westbrook who made it happen. Of Durant's 39 points, 21 were assisted by Westbrook.
“My teammates did a great job of putting me in those positions to be successful,” Durant said.
Westbrook also assisted James Harden on six of his 17 points off the bench, fed Serge Ibaka for his only bucket of the game and found Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha for two of their respective four points.