Russell Westbrook’s fifth straight triple double helped the Oklahoma City Thunder end the Toronto Raptors 11-game NBA winning streak on Sunday, as the Portland Trail Blazers rumbled to a 13th consecutive victory.
Westbrook scored 37 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and handed out 14 assists. His heroics, including back-to-back baskets to break a tie with 54.9 seconds remaining, denied the Raptors the longest win streak in club history.
Toronto remained atop the Eastern Conference with a 52-18 record, but the Raptors were fuming after a chaotic end to the contest.
DeMar DeRozan, who led Toronto with 24 points, was ejected with less than 10 seconds to play for arguing with an official.
“You know the frustration, you know what it came down to,” said DeRozan, who was still angry after the game at what he said were non-calls on obvious fouls. “It was obvious, especially at the end of the game.”
Teammate Serge Ibaka was tossed moments later, then Toronto coach Dwane Casey was ejected – although video appeared to show it was a fan behind him who yelled at the referee.
‘Keep your composure’
Casey was measured in his post-game comments, saying only that the Raptors are looking for “fairness and consistency” from officials and adding: “We’ll complain in the proper way.”
His reticence came on the same day that New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry and Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy were fined $15,000 apiece for post-game rants about refereeing.
New Zealand center Steven Adams added 25 points and eight rebounds for the Thunder while Paul George scored 22 points and Carmelo Anthony netted 15.
“You’ve got to be able to keep your composure through it all,” Westbrook said. “That’s what the game was all about.”
The Thunder remained two games behind the surging Trail Blazers for third place in the West.
Led by Damian Lillard’s 23 points, all five Trail Blazers starters scored in double figures in a 122-109 victory over the Clippers in Los Angeles.
CJ McCollum and Maurice Harkless scored 21 points apiece, Jusuf Nurkic added 17 and Al-Farouq Aminu chipped in 16 as Portland’s starters out-scored their Clippers counterparts 98-44.
With their 13th consecutive victory, Portland equaled the second-longest win streak in team history, behind their 16-game run in 1991.
In Minneapolis, the Houston Rockets improved their league-leading record with a 129-120 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves by fending off a late surge from the hosts.