Harden has 37 points, Rockets rout Thunder, Westbrook 118-87

  • Harden has 37 points, Rockets rout Thunder, Westbrook 118-87

Harden has 37 points, Rockets rout Thunder, Westbrook 118-87

Westbrook comes to play against the league's best, and he'll make certain that the Thunder won't go away quietly.

INGRASSIA: What's been more fascinating this season: Watching Russell Westbrook average a triple-double this season or listening to all the talking heads argue he doesn't deserve the MVP? That will negate chances for the Rockets to shoot threes.

Westbrook understands none of that matters now. OKC will have to find a way to win without Westbrook doing it all for the Thunder.

Harden had 27 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists to help Houston to its 55th victory.

After Kevin Durant's departure to the Golden State Warriors last summer, the fate of the Oklahoma City Thunder was left exclusively in the hands of Russell Westbrook as the franchise looked to bounce back. He said there won't be any special conversations about what to expect.

For the Thunder, that can be Alex Abrines and his three-point shooting ability. It's what I did. "He makes a lot of the plays for them, so I think he's a very intricate part of what we're trying to do as far as stopping those guys". "There's no difference. Obviously, the stakes are a little higher". I get to face these great players on a nightly basis, and I just go out there and try to do my job.

Somebody asked Houston coach Mike D'Antoni on Wednesday if voters should wait until after his team's first round series with the Thunder before they cast their ballots for Harden or Westbrook. That is 71 more than just two seasons ago, and 94 more than the 2009-10 season when there was a triple-double just once every 53.5 games. James Harden, Westbrook's former teammate in Oklahoma City, collected 22 this season. That triple doesn't get Harden the most scrutinized award in sports. Westbrook has been stats-chasing, which means that it looks as if his production is more for the objective of bolstering his own statistical acumen rather than compiling wins.

The NBA just wrapped up a terrific regular season, and it's anyone's guess who will be crowned as the league's MVP.

"It's definitely cool", Westbrook said. "That's something we talked about at the beginning of the season, and we still talk about it now".

He was the No. 26 overall pick in the 2013 National Basketball Association draft, a year after the franchise moved James Harden to the Houston Rockets. The best bet is Westbrook because he broke a record that was deemed unbreakable.

It has been a historic season and road trip for Westbrook. Russ Westbrook is not a great shooter. They rely heavily on making three pointers. "You've got to protect the 3-point line". James Harden led the new-look team with averages of 29.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 11.2 assists per game, Eric Gordon was healthy for the entire season and finished with averages of 16.2 points and 2.5 assists per game off the bench.

Unlike the Eastern Conference, whose seeding wasn't determined until last night, the final day of the regular season, the eight qualifying Western Conference teams were established by the end of the last scheduled game Sunday. He isn't sure how Donovan will manage his minutes in the playoffs. Billy Donovan's team should be able to win the battle down low, but the pace of the game will dictate how much that really means for the Thunder. "He just goes out there and plays relentless".