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Add NBA as an interest to stay up to date on the latest NBA news, video, and analysis from ABC News. NBA Add Interest Russell Westbrook darted into the lane time and time again, hitting the shot, drawing a foul or finding an open teammate.
At the other end of the court, he lingered under the boards, pulling down one rebound after another — usually against players taller than him.
In other words, just another night for Mr. Triple-Double .
Westbrook joined a very exclusive club Wednesday by putting up double figures in points, assists and rebounds for the 100th time in his career, a feat accomplished by only three other players.
Oscar Robertson. Magic Johnson. Jason Kidd.
Not bad company.
“I’m just happy to be a part of the crew with those guys,” Westbrook said after leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 119-107 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
It was another vintage performance by the 6-foot-3 point guard .
After Paul George went down with a groin injury in the third quarter, Westbrook took over in the fourth.
He guided a 16-0 run that suddenly turned a back-and-forth game — it was tied, in fact, after Taurean Prince hit a 3-pointer with 5:18 remaining — into a comfortable victory for Oklahoma City by the time the horn sounded.
Westbrook put the Thunder ahead for good with a pull-up jumper. He fed a pass to Jerami Grant for a 3-pointer. He bolted for the basket to draw a foul and sank both free throws. He spotted Grant again on a fast break after an Atlanta turnover, threading a pass that set up a three-point play. He drew another foul, sinking one more free throw. And with the lead in double digits, he stayed on the court long enough to grab three more rebounds.
“I try to read and react and see what teams are doing defensively, and obviously find the ways to make the game easy for my teammates,” Westbrook said.
Finally, after Carmelo Anthony knocked down the last of his six 3-pointers to cap the run, Westbrook headed to the bench with just under a minute to go.
His work was done after a night like so many others.
He finished with 32 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists .
“What it takes to do that on a night-in, night-out basis, the focus that you have to have, the intensity that you have to play with,” Anthony marveled. “For me, being able to be a part of that, be alongside him, it’s a special moment. It’s something that we should all appreciate, moments like this, and appreciate what we have and who we have.”
Westbrook insisted his gaudy numbers are not the most important thing.
He’s proudest of the Thunder’s record when he goes off for a triple-double — 82-18.
“I like winning,” Westbrook said. “The most important part about this game is winning, embracing and enjoying it with your teammates.”
Westbrook is barely halfway to Robertson’s career record of 181 triple-doubles, but he’s definitely got Johnson (138) and Kidd (107) in his sights.
Last season, Westbrook won the MVP award and set a league record with 42 triple-doubles, joining Robertson as the only players to average a triple-double over a full year. This season, with more offensive help around him after the Thunder acquired George and Anthony, Westbrook has still managed 21 triple-doubles.
At this rate, he’ll go by Kidd and Johnson in the next couple of seasons, having already become the third-fastest to reach the century mark behind Robertson (a mere 277 games) and Johnson (656 games). Westbrook needed 736 games to get there, but he’s really stepped up the pace since Kevin Durant left for Golden State.
The sellout crowd in attendance-challenged Atlanta — a turnout befitting one of the league’s brightest stars — broke into loud applause when Westbrook locked up his triple-double with 2 1/2 minutes remaining, snatching away a rebound after the Hawks missed.
“It’s always crazy for me, man, to go on the road and just see — not just fans cheering, but kids wearing my jersey,” he said. “I never, ever imagined me even playing in the NBA. To see that every time, it’s always amazing for me. I never take it for granted.”
Westbrook not only made it to the NBA.
He cracked a very elite club.
Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry
For more AP NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball
Where Does Toby Alderweireld’s Future Lie… Still At Tottenham Or One Of Psg, Chelsea, Manchester United Or Barcelona?
TOBY ALDERWEIRELD contract situation at Tottenham Hotspur is somewhat of a mess, and it’s largely because of Tottenham’s own doing.
Now the Belgian’s future in North London is in serious doubt.
PA:Press Association Toby Alderweireld looks set to leave Tottenham in the summer window
The two parties are yet to agree a new deal with the centre-back’s existing contract coming to an end in 2019.
Spurs have the option of triggering a one-year extension, however, that would see a £25million release clause activated next summer.
Clubs could then prise Alderweireld away for a bargain fee, as long as the deal was completed with a fortnight of the transfer window remaining.
Reports in Belgium claim the breakdown in talks mean Spurs are resigned to letting him leave this summer.
Getty Toby Alderweireld may not be staying in North London beyond this season
They will demand around £44million but where could he head next?
We asked our friends at Football Whispers to take a look at Alderweireld’s potential next destination.
REUTERS Manchester United are one team interested in the signing of Toby Alderweireld
The Red Devils have been long-term admirers of the Belgium defender and were linked with a move last summer.
One of Jose Mourinho’s main priorities when this season ends is to bring in a new centre-back to play next to Eric Bailly.
Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo are all out of contract in 2019 and could be moved on.
In Alderweireld the Portuguese would have one of the Premier League’s best defenders; the 29-year-old could slot in alongside the Ivorian without any need for adaptation.
What’s more, Mourinho hasn’t made a secret of his interest in Spurs players before, having considered moves for Eric Dier and Danny Rose.
Weakening a top-four rival would also be a massive boost for United.
Getty Chelsea could also turn to Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld
Only Manchester United and Tottenham conceded fewer goals than Chelsea’s 33 last season.
After switching to three in defence, the Blues’ trio of Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill were impenetrable for a large part of their title-winning campaign.
Cracks have started to show this season though and Luiz and Cahill have fallen out of favour, with Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger coming in for the pair.
Ethan Ampadu has even been preferred to the Brazilian at times.
Christensen and Rudiger are both exciting young players but have a mistake in them. Alderweireld would add vital experience to the backline.
He has tended to play in the middle of a back three, which would mean he replaces the Dane, but he’s also comfortable playing in a back four.
With Antonio Conte’s future uncertain, it’s not yet clear what formation the Blues will use next season.
But despite The Mirror claiming Chelsea are interested in the defender, it would be a huge surprise to see him end up at Stamford Bridge, especially if they don’t clinch Champions League football next season.
Tottenham are unlikely to want to sell to a rival, let alone the Blues.
The Stamford Bridge hierarchy will remember when the North Londoners blocked Luka Modric’s move across the capital in 2011. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy would rather sell abroad.
Saturday Round-Up: Watch the best action from Saturday’s Premier League games
Manchester United Star Marcus Rashford Wanted By Real Madrid In Sensational Summer Swoop
REAL MADRID have been linked with a shock move to sign Marcus Rashford this summer.
The Spanish giants are preparing for a major overhaul of their squad this summer after falling well short in their attempt to defend the La Liga title.
Getty Images – Getty Real Madrid have been linked with a shock move to sign Marcus Rashford this summer
One of the biggest areas of their focus is on bringing in at least one new striker to start taking the burden off Cristiano Ronaldo to score goals.
And Catalan title Sport claim Rashford is one of the names on the list of potential targets for Zinedine Zidane.
Real have held a long-standing interest in Tottenham striker Harry Kane – though the prospect of having to stump up £200million to get him has seen their interest cool.
Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowksi is seen as the most likely to move to the Bernabeu now that he has made it clear he is looking to quit the Bundesliga.
Getty Images – Getty Zinedine Zidane is on the look-out for a new striker and his focus could turn to Old Trafford Marcus Rashford scores sublime goals in England training as the squad prepare for friendly against Netherlands in Amsterdam
But the reports claim Rashford’s struggle to get regular starting roles at Manchester United this season have given Real encouragement he could be available.
Zidane and officials at the club have been impressed by the 20-year-old ever since he burst onto the scene two years ago in sensational style.
TIM TO SHINE Timothy Weah picked to play for USA… even though dad George is President of Liberia
His calmness in front of goal quickly caught the eye, but the Spanish club are also said to be impressed by his all-round style of play.
They believe the fact he is versatile and able to rotate around the front line makes him the ideal kind of player who would succeed in their team.
Germany Vs Spain: Prediction, Odds, Betting Tips, And Live Stream For International Friendly
Germany vs Spain: Prediction, odds and betting tips
REIGNING world champions Germany take on former World Cup winners Spain in the pick of the ties of the international break.
Victory for either side would be a statement win ahead of Russia this summer.
Spain to win 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1, 3/1 with Sun Bets Diego Costa to score any time, 7/4 with Sun Bets
AFP or licensors Leroy Sane and Mesut Ozil joke in training ahead of the game
Spain have won 11 of their last 14 games and come into this match brimming with confidence.
Andres Iniesta and co. have won three of the last four meetings between the two and Sun Bets are offering a brilliant 3/1 on the Spaniards winning 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1.
Diego Costa looks like he is back to his normal self at Atletico Madrid this season three goals and three yellow cards in his last seven games.
The powerful front man will be a handful for Germany’s back line and you can get him at 7/4 to score any time with Sun Bets.
Germany were imperious in qualifying and have won their last two friendlies against Spain and a home win with both teams to score is 3/1 with Sun Bets.
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Top pundits IAN WRIGHT and DANNY HIGGINBOTHAM have made their picks for this week if you need a steer.
And remember, you can claim a free £30 bet with Sun Bets when you sign up put a tenner on this weekend’s football here.
When is Germany vs Spain?
Germany take on Spain on Friday, March 23.
Kick-off will be at 7.45pm.
The match will be played at the Esprit Arena, Dusseldorf.
What TV channel is Germany vs Spain on and can I live stream it?
Germany vs Spain will be live on BT Sport 3.
Coverage will begin 15 minutes before kick-off at 7.30pm.
You can also follow all the action on the SunSport LIVE BLOG.
Germany have left Marco Reus and Mario Gotze out of their squad.
And boss Joachim Loew believes the decision to drop Reus will be in the Dortmund star’s interest.
He commented: “It’s important for us that Marco is guided to the top level gently and without additional pressure and that he gets stability.
“This means that he’s free of complaints, fit and playing over a longer period, that he trains, finds his rhythm and thus gains security and confidence.”
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