Just two games into the 2016-17 season, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis have been torching defenses and stuffing stat sheets.
As expected, Westbrook would have some wild statistical nights without Kevin Durant on the floor. In the Oklahoma City Thunder’s season opener, the 27-year-old nearly triple-doubled with a 31-point, 12-rebound, nine assists performance against the Philadelphia 76ers. On Friday, he caught the triple-double that eluded him and rocked the Phoenix Suns defense to the tune of 51 points, 13 boards, and ten assists.
It took him 44 shots to reach that mark–forty-four. Once he got there, though, he became the first player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975 to tally a triple-double with at least 50 points. A majority of his points came in the second half and overtime, and Victor Oladipo was looking like a bigger threat after a 15-point first half.
Once the third quarter started, Westbrook put himself into sixth gear and knifed through Phoenix’s defense. He played the entire quarter, and wound up with 23-points on 7/12 shooting but the Thunder were still down by six. In the fourth, Westbrook continued his tirade and his ten points helped OKC force overtime.
In Friday’s night-cap, the New Orleans Pelicans hosted the Golden State Warriors in the same arena that saw Stephen Curry drop 53 last season. This time, however, the star of the show would be Anthony Davis, but his tremendous effort wouldn’t be enough to down the Bay Area’s superteam.
Behind 30 points from Durant, 28 from Klay Thompson, and 23 from Curry, the Warriors took home the 122-114 victory.
Davis’ effort didn’t go unnoticed, and the perennial MVP candidate recorded his second straight 45-point performance. With the help of numerous mid-range jump shots, floaters that he sunk from across his body, and length that allowed him to finish in traffic on drives, the Brow singlehandedly kept the Pelicans in the game.
His night was much more efficient, and it took just 17/31 shots to hit that point total with the help of 10/14 from the line. Davis then hauled in 17 rebounds, handed out three assists, and tallied two blocks and two steals on the defensive end.
With a total of 95 points over the two opening games, Davis became the first player since Michael Jordan (91 in 1986-87) to score at least 90 in the first two contests of a season, according to Basketball-Reference.
Follow me on Twitter