Nuggets coach Michael Malone on the game: “It was a tough loss. I give (Russell Westbrook) credit, he is a hell of a player and an MVP candidate. I really feel that we lost this game. Our turnovers in the fourth quarter, I think we had 6 turnovers for ten points. Down the stretch we had a lack of poise, lack of execution, we picked up a technical foul. Everything that could go wrong went wrong.”
Malone on his message to the team: “We have two more games. It was a tough way to lose, a buzzer beater. …On that pass, we lost sight of Westbrook for a split second then he makes a dagger. It’s a tough way to go out. Obviously our playoff hopes are no longer alive but we have two more games and we have to go on the road and play the right way.”
Thunder guard Russell Westbrook on his emotions following a record-setting performance: “Very, very blessed. I have to give all the thanks to the man above; he has blessed me with unbelievable talent to go out and compete at a high level and I’m just thankful for my teammates, the coaching staff, the organization, all of the fans, my family for believing in me and allowing me to do what I’m doing.”
Nuggets guard Gary Harris on the game: “It’s a game of runs and they made their run late and it was a good defense. It was just Russell has had a hell of a season so far. I think he might have locked up the MVP with that one right there.”
NOTES AND STUFF
– Russell Westbrook made NBA history by registering his 42nd triple-double of the season, surpassing Oscar Robertson’s 41 in 1961-62 as the most ever by a player in a single season. Westbrook scored 50 points with 16 rebounds and 10 assists in 37 minutes. It was his third career 50-point triple-double, all coming this season, the most by any player in NBA history.
– Danilo Gallinari set a new season high with 34 points on 12-of-20 shooting, accompanied by 10 rebounds in 38 minutes. It was his 14th career 30-point game and his second-ever with at least 10 rebounds. Gallinari has scored 20 or more points in four of his last five contests, averaging 25.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists on 54 percent shooting from the field and 43 percent from the 3-point line during this stretch.
– The Nuggets lost for the ninth-straight time to the Thunder, their longest active losing streak against any team.
– Oklahoma City out rebounded the Nuggets by 12, the biggest margin by any team against the Nuggets this season. It was just the second time the Nuggets were out rebounded by six or more boards this season.
Emmanuel Mudiay scored 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting, with five rebounds and three assists. He has scored 10 or more points in three of his last five games.
– This was the Nuggets’ sixth home loss by three points or less, the most such games since the 2006-07 season.
– The win, for Oklahoma City, was their 11th by three points or fewer, which is the most by any team in the NBA this season.