Rockets’ Russell Westbrook finally breaks ugly 4-year streak in Game 5 vs Thunder
Houston Rockets star Russell Westbrook finally made his 2020 NBA playoffs debut in their 114-80 Game 5 win over his former squad, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Westbrook did have a rusty return on Saturday, especially from the field. He shot just 3-of-13, registering just seven points to go along with six rebounds, seven assists, and a steal.
Missing from Westbrook’s stat line for the Rockets on Saturday: a turnover. In fact, this is the first time this has happened in more than four years, per Sports Center. To be exact, the 2016-17 NBA MVP went 338 straight games, including the playoffs, with at least one giveaway. This is by far the longest streak since the league started recording turnovers over 40 years ago.
Russell Westbrook didn't have a turnover in a game for the first time in over 4 years.
He went 338 consecutive games with at least 1, the longest streak since turnovers were first tracked in 1977-78, including playoffs.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 30, 2020
Random stats, baby.
Westbrook has been one of the more turnover prone players in the NBA, especially over the past six seasons with the Rockets and Thunder. He was No. 3 in turnovers per game this 2019-20 season and from the 2014-15 campaign up to 2018-19, he finished in the top two. Nonetheless, high turnover rates are understandable especially coming from a ball dominant and high usage player like Westbrook.
Despite Westbrook’s rough return to action, the Rockets didn’t have much of a problem taking care of business in Game 5. Houston routed Oklahoma City by 34 points to take a 3-2 series lead.
James Harden led the way with 31 points, five assists, and four 3-pointers. Robert Covington and Eric Gordon contributed 22 and 20 points, respectively for the Rockets.
Nonetheless, Brodie appears to be over his quad injury that sidelined him for the first four games of their opening round series. Despite his poor shooting, Westbrook still gave the Rockets his contagious energy and aggressiveness.