Same story, different night for Westbrook, who now has recorded triple-doubles in 49 percent of his team’s games this season. Right?
Well, not exactly.
The Thunder and Grizzlies went blow-for-blow late into the fourth quarter in OKC. And Westbrook, who finished the night with 38 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, entered the fourth quarter with just 19 points. A solid, well-rounded effort to that point.
Then he switched sneakers, and went OFF.
“Yeah, man. S— was rubbing my toe,” Westbrook said on why he switched sneakers before the fourth quarters. “I had to take ’em off and switch to my other ones. Just came out, competed, and tried to finish the right way.”
After the shoe switch, Westbrook was all over the floor. The fourth quarter is usually dominated by the high-energy point guard anyway, but even more so in his fresh kicks. He was pulling up and burying 3-pointers, getting to the rim in Russdiculous fashion and tracking down balls with hustle plays.
His 19-point final 12 minutes is certainly impressive. But the way in which he got the majority of it is even more so.
Westbrook scored just four points in the first 9 minutes, 25 seconds. Then (and I assume this is when his new kicks were warmed up), he went ballistic in the final 2:35, unleashing 15 points to help the Thunder pull away from Memphis.
It was an incredible all-around effort from the Thunder star. There’s no video evidence of his shoe switch. So who knows, maybe he whispered, “Make me like Mike,” during the switch.
Whatever it was, I have some advice: Keep rolling with those fourth-quarter kicks.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Russell Westbrook gets 25th triple-double, scores 19 in fourth after sneaker switch