San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) loses the ball after a foul by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Domantas Sabonis, left rear, during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Thursday, March 9, 2017.
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Yesterday, Albert Burneko argued that the discussion about who deserves the NBA Most Valuable Player award has lately gone off track-that Russell Westbrook, averaging a triple-double for the Oklahoma City Thunder, has been so thoroughly and overwhelmingly spectacular this season that the spectacular has gotten familiar.
Like Donovan said, it seems easy to just assume when Westbrook plays the way he did against the Spurs, the Thunder are at their best. He finished with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists. Westbrook has grappled all season long with the balance of doing too much while having to do everything, taking a suddenly flawed roster in the wake of Kevin Durant's departure and keeping it at playoff level.
With the win, the OKC Thunder improve to 36-29.
The Thunder needed the best of Westbrook against the Spurs, and he delivered.
But Westbrook isn't a shoe-in for the award.
For those who question Leonard's value to the Spurs, must not watch the Spurs. Cuban says the race is a toss-up between these three players.
Pau Gasol scored 18 points while LaMarcus Aldridge posted 17 points and six rebounds as the Spurs (50-14) saw their nine-game win streak come to an end. Harden has the Rockets with a firm hold of the third seed in the West. The Oklahoma City Thunder are averaging 106.3 points on 45 percent shooting and allowing 106.5 points on 46 percent shooting. His MVP case is unique and will take an unprecedented voting mindset, but then, Westbrook already is rewriting history. The Cleveland Cavaliers lead the East with a 42-19 record.
In what was the 170th matchup between these teams, Sacramento rolled out to a 22-point lead in the first quarter. The main takeaway for fans trying to find hope in this dark, dark timeline is the unexpected explosion of Skal Labissiere and the continued impressive play of Buddy Hield.
In fact, Oklahoma City lost Tuesday at home despite MVP candidate Russell Westbrook scoring a career-high 58 points.