Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Westbrook triple as Thunder seal playoff spot, Spurs through



Westbrook triple as Thunder seal playoff spot, Spurs through

Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder handles the ball against the Miami Heat on Monday at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. AFP
Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder handles the ball against the Miami Heat on Monday at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. AFP

Westbrook triple as Thunder seal playoff spot, Spurs through

Paul George scored 27 points and Russell Westbrook bagged a triple-double as the Oklahoma City Thunder overcame an 18-point deficit to clinch a playoff berth with a 115-93 victory over the Miami Heat on Monday.

Westbrook finished with 23 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists in a dynamic performance which assured the Thunder of a postseason berth and kept them in the hunt for home-court advantage in the first round.

The Thunder improved to 47-34 with the win, leaving them level on wins in the Western Conference standings with fourth-placed Utah, who have played a game fewer.

George and Westbrook were backed by Carmelo Anthony, who finished with 11 points, while Jerami Grant contributed 17 off the bench as the Thunder overcame a determined Miami side.

Josh Richardson led the scoring for the Heat with 18 points, while Hassan Whiteside had 16. The defeat saw Miami slide back to seventh place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of Washington.

George said the Thunder would now aim to finish with a win in front of their home fans on Wednesday, when they host the Memphis Grizzlies.

“It feels great. We’ve got one more to go, we’re heading in the right direction,” George said.

“It’s what we wanted. We wanted to come off the road trip 2 & 0 and we did that. We’ve got one more to close it up at home and get ready for these playoffs.”

Spurs streak continues

The Thunder were joined in the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs, who sealed their 21st consecutive appearance in the postseason with a 98-85 win over the Sacramento Kings.

The Spurs advanced after strong performances off the bench, with Manu Ginobili chipping in with 17 points and Rudy Gay 18 points.

It remains to be seen where San Antonio will start in the playoffs however, with the Spurs one of four teams locked on 47 wins heading into the final rounds of the regular season.

New Orleans were the other team to clinch on Monday, with the Pelicans trouncing the Los Angeles Clippers 113-100 at the Staples Center on the back of a 28-point display from Anthony Davis.

Elsewhere on Monday, Kevin Love and LeBron James combined for 54 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers kept alive their hopes of snagging third place in the Eastern Conference with a 123-109 win over the New York Knicks.

With just one regular season game remaining, the Cavaliers will likely need to defeat New York again on Wednesday if they are to have any chance of sneaking past the in-form Philadelphia 76ers for the third seeding.

The Sixers will be assured of third if they win their two remaining games against Atlanta and Milwaukee.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • Nestle’s debut may spur dairy market

    Leading confectionery manufacturer Nestle plans to invest in Cambodia by setting up an operation in the near future, a move majorly hailed by local dairy farmers as a means of boosting the fresh milk market in the Kingdom. During a visit by a delegation led

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement