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Rockets star Russell Westbrook’s 45 are most points scored without 3-point attempt since Dwyane Wade in 2007


With the continuous struggles of James Harden, the Houston Rockets leaned on Russell Westbrook to mitigate The Beard’s seemingly never-ending shooting woes. Westbrook scored a season-high 45 points to lead the Rockets to a 131-124 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Westbrook’s 45-piece became the most points scored by a guard without attempting a single three-pointer since Dwyane Wade dropped 48 points in a December 2007 game, per NBA Stats on Twitter.

Westbrook went 16-of-27 from the field and converted on all of his 13 freethrow attempts. He also added six rebounds and 10 assists in 38 minutes.

Harden, meanwhile, continued to have his bad string of luck in terms of shooting after going 3-of-13 from the field on Friday. He also failed to convert on any of his six attempts from beyond the arc.

Playing a Minnesota squad with a weak interior defense certainly helped Westbrook on Friday. The 2016-17 MVP turned in a vintage performance as he sliced up the Timberwolves all night long with daredevil finishes at the basket. Likewise, he was able to knock down some of his signature mid-range pull-ups. The eight-time All-Star made six shots at the cup and scored 10 points on pull-ups outside the paint.

This is probably the kind of Russell Westbrook that Rockets fans expected to see when Houston traded for him in the off-season. Westbrook’s three-point shooting has taken a massive hit, especially this season as he is shooting his worst three-point shooting clip (23.5 percent) since his sophomore campaign.

Westbrook has eased up on his three-point attempts this season, with over just one-fifth of his shots coming from downtown. He’s certainly done a concerted effort to take more shots near the basket, though the occasional mid-range pull-ups are still there in his game.