NBA: Westbrook in rare territory with fifth straight triple-double

In other games in the NBA, Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony inspired New York Knicks to a 106-98 victory over the Sacramento Kings while the Orlando Magic ended a seven-game run of futility against Detroit, downing the Pistons 98-92.

Westbrook scored 28 points, pulled down 17 rebounds and handed out 12 assists for his 10th triple-double of the season and his fifth in a row.   -  AP

Russell Westbrook became the first player since Michael Jordan in 1989 to notch five straight triple-doubles in the NBA, his latest on Sunday powering Oklahoma City to a 101-92 victory over the Pelicans in New Orleans.

Westbrook scored 28 points, pulled down 17 rebounds and handed out 12 assists for his 10th triple-double of the season and his fifth in a row.

His streak is the longest since Jordan posted seven straight in 1989.

“In my opinion, he’s the best athlete in the NBA,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said of Russell as his team prepared to take on the Thunder star. “It’s fun watching him play against everybody else.”

It wasn’t as much fun being on the receiving end.

Thunder centre Enes Kanter recorded 17 points and 10 rebounds. Victor Oladipo added 15 points for Oklahoma City, who withstood 37 points and 15 rebounds from Pelicans star Anthony Davis.

Rookie Buddy Hield broke out of a slump with 16 points, all in the second half, for the Pelicans, which trailed by as many as 15 but cut the lead to seven points with three minutes remaining.

Davis had a chance to trim the deficit to five, but he missed back-to-back shots on the same possession.

Westbrook then produced a fastbreak finger roll to stretch the edge back to 93-84 with 2:39 to play.

An Oladipo free throw and two three-pointers from Hield pulled New Orleans within 94-90. But they would get no closer and Westbrook’s three-pointer in the final minute put the game away.

Knicks beat Kings

In New York, Derrick Rose and Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points apiece to lead the Knicks to a 106-98 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

It was the third time in four games that Rose scored 20 points. Brandon Jennings added a season-high 19 points and Kristaps Porzingis chipped in 15 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots for the Knicks, which handed Sacramento its third straight defeat.

DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 36 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots. It marked the 10th time Cousins has scored at least 30 points this season.

Magic turn the tables on Pistons

The Orlando Magic ended a seven-game run of futility against Detroit, downing the Pistons 98-92 thanks in large part to a stellar performance from Serge Ibaka.

Ibaka scored 21 points with seven rebounds, four assists, four blocked shots and three steals for the Magic, who hadn’t beaten the Pistons since November 17, 2014.

“There’s no question he’s an elite big man. He’s one of the best two-way bigs in the game,” Magic coach Frank Vogel said. “There’s no other way to put it. He’s shooting the ball from the perimeter, he’s scoring in the post and he’s really trusting the pass. He’s buying into the hot potato type of mindset, where the open man gets the shot every time. And he’s a force on the defensive end.”

Nikola Vucevic added 16 points and eight rebounds off the bench for Orlando, who have won three of their last four after a four-game slump.

“I don’t care about the stats,” Ibaka said. “We’ve been looking for those wins for a long time now. That’s the most important thing for me because I know when the team wins, everybody looks good.”