Oklahoma City Thunder drop Atlanta Hawks behind Westbrook's triple-double

The Oklahoma City Thunder have gotten used to playing without reigning MVP Kevin Durant.

They showed Friday they can still beat the best without him, as Russell Westbrook recorded yet another triple-double in the Thunder's 123-115 victory over the Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta Hawks.


Before the game the Thunder announced Durant will be sidelined indefinitely because of lingering soreness in his foot and did not give a timetable for his return.

The news cast doubt on OKC's already tenuous playoff hopes, with the team entering play holding a one-game lead over the Pelicans for the eighth spot in the Western Conference race.

Someone will need to step up and complement the otherworldly production of Westbrook, who posted his ninth triple-double of the season -- seventh in the past month -- with 36 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds.

Several role players did just that in the club's fourth win in five games, notably Dion Waiters pouring in 26 points and Anthony Morrow scoring 21, including 12 during a game-changing run in the fourth quarter.


Atlanta finished its six-game road trip at 3-3 despite seven players scoring in double figures. Pero Antic netted a career-high 22 points, Dennis Schroder added 21 and Paul Millsap dropped 19.

The Hawks led by as many as 12 late in the third quarter, but a Nick Collison tip-in, Waiters 3-pointer and two Westbrook free throws cut the Thunder's deficit to 95-90 heading into the fourth.

Morrow ignited a 19-2 run with consecutive 3-pointers and hit two more from behind the arc during the three-minute surge. Waiters' steal and uncontested dunk made it a 115-105 game, and the Thunder held on over the final four minutes.

A high-paced, high-scoring first quarter ended with the Hawks holding a 35-34 lead. They kept the tempo going in the second went ahead by 10 on Antic's fourth 3-pointer. The reserve forward tied his career high with 18 points in the first half alone, and Atlanta went into the break with a 68-61 lead.

Game Notes

Oklahoma City is 15-2 when Westbrook records a triple-double ... Thunder center Enes Kanter did not dress due to a left ankle sprain ... The Hawks fell to 21-7 against the West this season ... The Thunder are the fourth team in NBA history to go from nine games below .500 at one point in the season and move nine games above .500 ... Atlanta's Al Horford finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds.



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