Another huge night from Russell Westbrook, and yet another devastating loss for the OKC Thunder.
Westbrook scored a career-high 54 points Sunday, while grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out eight assists in a tough 116-104 road loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Westbrook also picked up a costly technical foul, his sixteenth of the season, and may serve a one-game suspension should the penalty hold.
Per the Indy Star:
Westbrook’s teammates also were watching – had no choice but to watch, given the way he was chucking a franchise-record 43 shots – and when it was over, the Thunder had been given a lesson in mathematics, courtesy of the suddenly playoff serious Indiana Pacers: […] The Pacers played as a team on Sunday night, using the power of five to beat Oklahoma City’s one-man Russell Westbrook show 116-104. With that, the Pacers are tied with Brooklyn for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the Nets being the only team between Indiana and the 2015 playoffs. The schedule – and the tiebreaker – favors the Nets, but the Pacers are the hotter team, winning five in a row while Brooklyn has lost three of its past five.
That’s getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s back up to Sunday night, to a game in which the Pacers almost suckered Westbrook into scoring a career-high 54 points, the most ever by an opposing player at the fieldhouse. […] “We didn’t really mind that he was the only guy going,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “Lots of times when somebody’s coming out, taking all the shots, and nobody else on the floor is in a rhythm, you end up winning games like that.”
“That can be detrimental to a team or it can lift a team,” Pacers guard Paul George said of Westbrook’s one-man onslaught. “Tonight it was detrimental. Get one guy going, and the whole team went cold. They couldn’t get into a rhythm.”