Russell Westbrook became the first player in NBA history to record a 50-point triple-double in the playoffs. But it came in a losing effort.
Tuesday’s game was televised on TNT and the Bulls have now won 21 straight games on the network.
The Nuggets were the first eight seed to beat a one when they upset the SuperSonics in the first round of the 1994 playoffs. The Knicks then knocked off the Heat in 1999 and became the first eight seed to reach the NBA Finals, losing to the Spurs in five games. Those first-round series were best-of-five. The Warriors in 2007 became the first No. 8 seed to beat the top seed in a seven-game series when they outlasted the Mavericks in six games.
The Grizzlies beat the top-seeded Spurs in six games in 2011 and the 76ers also had a 4-2 series win in 2012 to upset the No. 1 Bulls.
The Celtics are the first No. 1 seed to lose the first two games of an opening-round playoff series since the Suns in 1993. The Suns actually won three straight to eliminate the Lakers in five games, so all hope is not yet lost for the Celtics.
In the six minutes Westbrook was off the floor, the Rockets outscored the Thunder 27-9. Westbrook was visibly gassed in the fourth quarter, going just 2 of 11 from the floor. Westbrook was still able to hustle to a couple of rebounds in the final minute to keep the Thunder close, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Thunder alive.
“I just don’t settle for being not as great as I can be. It’s not going to result in a stat line like this every night. When my mind is fresh and in the moment, sometimes certain things like this happen, so I don’t know.
“I can’t even really appreciate it. I’ll let you guys write your words about it and go from there. Only thing that matters is a win, and that’s what I’m here for.”