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Westbrook’s 19th triple-double as Oklahoma Thunder top Spurs

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Russell Westbrook recorded 21 points against the visiting San Antonio Spurs. Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Russell Westbrook recorded 21 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his 98th career triple-double to help the Oklahoma City Thunder cruise to a 104-94 victory over the visiting San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.

Jerami Grant scored 15 points on 5-of-5 shooting and Corey Brewer added 12 points, as the Thunder won for the fifth time in seven games. Paul George had 11 points and 10 rebounds, Alex Abrines tallied 11 points and Patrick Patterson had 10.

Davis Bertans and Rudy Gay scored 14 points apiece to lead the sinking Spurs, who lost for the eighth time in the past 10 games. LaMarcus Aldridge had 11 points on 5-of-16 shooting, and Bryn Forbes added 10 points.

The Spurs are just 14-21 on the road, clinching their first losing record in away games since the 1996-97 campaign.

Oklahoma City (39-29) swapped positions with the Spurs (37-29) in the tightly packed Western Conference, moving into fifth place while the Spurs dropped to seventh. The Minnesota Timberwolves (38-29) are in sixth.

The triple-double was Westbrook’s 19th of the season, and he is two away from becoming the fourth player to reach 100. Oscar Robertson (181), Magic Johnson (138) and Jason Kidd (107) are the members of the century club.

“I’m just competing,” Westbrook said in a postgame interview on ABC. “I’m thankful and blessed to the man above for the talents to play the game I love. I play each and every night and I go out and lay it on the floor every single night.”

Thunder centre Steven Adams departed the contest in the third quarter due to a sprained left ankle and didn’t return.

The Thunder created distance with a 11-0 run in the fourth quarter to open up a 21-point lead.

Seldom-used Nick Collison, in the contest due to Adams’ injury, scored five points during the burst that gave Oklahoma City a 93-72 advantage with 5:49 left. Collison scored a season-best seven points in six minutes.

The Spurs ripped off the next 11 points to trim their deficit to 10 and later moved within 97-90 on a 3-pointer by Forbes with 2:06 left. But Brewer made two free throws and Grant drained a 3-pointer to make it 102-90 as the Thunder closed it out.

Oklahoma City led by nine at halftime and held a lead by the same margin entering the final stanza.

Brewer scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting as the Thunder possessed a 52-43 halftime lead. Aldridge had just three first-half points on 1-of-8 shooting.

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