Russell Westbrook scored 38 points and posted his 27th triple-double of the season to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the New York Knicks 116-105 on Wednesday.
Westbrook moved into sole possession of third place for the most triple-doubles in a season, behind Oscar Robertson’s 41 in 1961-1962 and Wilt Chamberlain’s 31 in 1967-1968.
The star guard had 14 rebounds and 12 assists in the 64th triple-double of his career.
“The respect is obvious, man,” Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony said. “It’s a mutual respect. Russell is like family to me. I love to see him out there doing what he is doing. I hope he can continue to do that throughout the rest of the season.”
Westbrook enjoyed heading into the All-Star break on a good note.
“You want to have a good feeling, good taste in your mouth going into the break and then make sure you come back ready to play,” Westbrook said.
Anthony had 30 points for the Knicks after being selected to the All-Star Game as an injury replacement for Cleveland’s Kevin Love earlier in the night.
Derrick Rose scored 25 and Courtney Lee added 16.
The Knicks jumped out to a 16-2 lead and shot 73 percent in the first quarter to take a 39-27 lead and led by 17 in the second before the Thunder rallied and took a 62-60 lead at halftime.
Westbrook had 19 points and 10 assists at the break.
Westbrook clinched his triple-double on a rebound with about seven minutes left in the third quarter.
Victor Oladipo’s three-pointer as time expired in the period put the Thunder ahead 88-80.
With about five minutes remaining, Westbrook caught Anthony on a pump fake before draining a three-pointer that put the Thunder up 105-94.
“We basically showed a wall, and he [Westbrook] was throwing at other guys and they weren’t making the shots early,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said about guarding Westbrook. “Then I felt there was too much space. He got around our guys, and when he gets around and has the full head of steam it’s almost like you have to follow him because he’s either going to dunk it or lay it in.”