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Russell Westbrook proving he is MVP candidate, great teammate

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Newberry: Westbrook keeps showing he deserves MVP award

The Charlotte Hornets kept their playoff hopes alive, defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder, 113-101.

Westbrook is off one of the best individual performances across the entire league as he recorded 57 points in a recent triple-double in addition to producing 13 rebounds and 11 assists in an overtime win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.

CLEVELAND - LeBron James scored 41 points to go with 16 rebounds and 11 assists for his 11th triple-double this season and 53rd of his career in Cleveland's win.

Westbrook scored 40 points with 13 rebounds and 10 assists to go with eight turnovers to move to within one of Oscar Robertson's record of 41 triple-doubles in one National Basketball Association regular season. Therefore, he is a virtual lock to average a season-long triple-double since the Thunder have just six games left in the regular season.

The Milwaukee Bucks begin a three-game, late-campaign road trip tonight in Oklahoma City, where they'll face the Thunder on national television (7 p.m. CT on ESPN). For the last couple of seasons I've been under the assumption that Stephen Curry would be the best one-on-one player because his virtually unlimited shooting range combined with his ball-handling skills make him almost impossible to guard.

Spurs: host the Utah Jazz on Sunday. "We work all year for this and hopefully we can come out here focused and try to get a win, play good basketball and everything will take care of itself".

Earlier this month, Robertson said during an NBA TV segment he "wouldn't care" about Westbrook breaking his triple-double record.

"They were just playing with a more sense of urgency than we did", Westbrook said. Miles Plumlee picked up a black eye in the first half but stayed in the game and was okay to play.

"As a team, yes", Antetokounmpo said when asked if he and his teammates would take pride in stopping Westbrook from matching Robertson's record.

"It's what I have been seeing from him for 74 games", San Antonio's Manu Ginobili said. The Thunder turned it over 24 times against Charlotte, leading to 32 points.

The Thunder will be back in action on Tuesday against the Bucks as Westbrook looks to tie Oscar Robertson's single-season record of 41 triple-doubles. The Hornets went into the fourth quarter with a 14-point advantage, which would ultimately be too much of a deficit for the Thunder to overcome.

Kiwi centre Steven Adams finished the match with 13 points and seven rebounds.

Westbrook got his 10th rebound and 10th assist six seconds apart. He made 5-of-8 attempts from 3-point range. He's posted triple-doubles in more than half of his games this season, putting him on pace to just barely set the new record. This was the second time he put up a 50 point triple-double this season, a feat that hasn't been accomplished since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it way back in 1975.

Looking at the betting trends, the Hornets are 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight against the Western Conference and 6-2 ATS in their last eight games overall.

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