The Purdue Boilermakers' toughest challenge thus far this season has been the Michigan Wolverines, but once again on Thursday night, they survived that challenge. Vincent Edwards scored 30 points to help No. 3 Purdue tie a school record with their 16th straight win, 92-88, over the Wolverines. Isaac Haas added 24 points, six rebounds, three assists, and three blocks in a high-scoring affair, where Purdue barely out-shot Michigan overall, 62%-60%. It is the fourth time in school history that the Boilermakers have won at least 16 games in a row, as they improved their Big Ten record to 9-0. The 25th-ranked Wolverines were led by Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman's 26 points, while Zavier Simpson chipped in 16 in the loss. It was a back-and-forth contest for most of the night, until Purdue used a 9-0 run midway through the second half to pull away just enough to hold Michigan down. The Wolverines tried to play the foul game late, but Purdue made enough free throws to prevent a late comeback. They will put their win streak on the line Sunday afternoon against the Hoosiers in Indiana. The Wolverines return home Monday night to play host to Northwestern.
Westbrook, Thunder Outlast Beal, Wizards
Speaking of offensive affairs, we saw a couple of those in the NBA on TNT Thursday night, beginning with Russell Westbrook putting up a season-high 46 points in a 121-112 Oklahoma City Thunder win over the Washington Wizards. Paul George added 18 points on 6-of-19 shooting and Carmelo Anthony scored 13 in what was the Thunder's sixth straight victory. Steven Adams' double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds helped OKC down low, while Westbrook led the way once again by shooting 19-of-29 from the floor. After a struggling 8-12 start for OKC, they have now won 20 of their past 28 games to slide up the Western Conference standings. This monster offensive performance from the Thunder helped overcome Bradley Beal's 41-point effort for the Wizards, who committed 23 turnovers in the loss. John Wall chipped in 21 points and Markieff Morris finished with 20 for the Wizards, who trailed for just about the entirety of the game. They now sit at 26-22 on the season and will visit the lowly Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night. The Thunder hit the road to visit the struggling Detroit Pistons that same night.
Durant's Triple-Double Powers Warriors at Home
Kevin Durant had an up-and-down kind of day on Thursday, beginning with getting fined $15K by the NBA for criticizing officials. Things started going up when he was selected first overall in Thursday's NBA All-Star Draft by Team LeBron, and then he proved why that was the case later on that night at Oracle Arena. Durant finished with a triple-double of 28 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds to lead the Golden State Warriors over the Minnesota Timberwolves, 126-113. The Warriors as a team shot 54 percent overall, including 56 percent from three-point range while making a season-high 21 three-pointers in the win. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson added 25 points apiece in the Warriors' 39th win of the year, which leads the way in the Western Conference. They did have to hold off a late run from the dangerous Timberwolves, who got 31 points and 11 rebounds from Karl-Anthony Towns. Jamal Crawford added 21 points and Jeff Teague had 17 points and seven assists for Minnesota, who was without All-Star forward Jimmy Butler for a fourth straight game due to a sore right knee. The Warriors move on to a primetime showdown with the Boston Celtics on Saturday night. The Timberwolves will be back home that same night to host the Brooklyn Nets.