Thunder star Russell Westbrook’s triple-double vs. Spurs was unprecedented

Spurs Outlast Thunder in Double-Overtime, Win Thriller 154-147

Spurs Outlast Thunder in Double-Overtime, Win Thriller 154-147

"For it to go down to the wire with a team that's hot like that, we have a lot to take away for us, for how we played", Oklahoma City forward Paul George said. San Antonio drilled its first 14 3-point attempts Thursday, the most by any team to begin a game over the past 20 seasons, according to Elias Sports Bureau research.

The game featured a career-high 56 points from LaMarcus Aldridge, which is the most points for a Spurs player since Tony Parker scored 44 points in 2008, and the most points without a 3-pointer since Shaquille O'Neal in 2000.

"Well, he's been a beast all year long", Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. He scored 12 straight Spurs points late in the fourth, with several of those points coming after Thunder center Steven Adams left the game with an ankle injury, leaving him free to attack the post. He did it last year and he is doing it this year too. "He really carried us", said Derrick White.

When the final buzzer sounded following 58 minutes of basketball, Aldridge demanded the game ball, holding on to it throughout his postgame interview before carrying it to the locker room. "Never been on the floor with someone who scored 56".

"I'm sure I said it, but not with my mouth", Aldridge said. "I was just trying to help us get the win".

"I take a lot of pride (in triple-doubles)", Westbrook said.

The matchup went into double-overtime and packed the energy and intensity of nothing short of a high-stakes playoff game, with the Spurs ending up on the winning side of an astronomical 154-147 scoreline. The Spurs also shot 16-19 from deep, the highest 3-point percentage ever for a team with more than 15 attempts.

At one point in the first quarter, Marco Belinelli hit three straight.

LaMarcus dropped a career-high 56 points, 16 of which came from his flawless free-throw shooting on the night.

Such a brilliant night for Aldridge seemed nearly inconceivable in November, when the veteran suffered through a shooting slump that saw him score six points on 3-of-12 shooting against the Phoenix Suns and 10 points on 3-of-15 shooting in 38 minutes against the Clippers. He shot 10-of-20 from the field, grabbed five offensive rebounds, and was a big part of the Thunder's comeback in the fourth quarter. With an unfamiliar rough patch facing them in recent times, they have now lost six of their previous ten, falling as far as 3.5 games below the apex.

Now they get a different version of the back-to-back. You just look in awe at what they did do, and hope Saturday's rematch will be just as entertaining.

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