The last time Russell Westbrook led his Thunder against the Grizzlies, it was a game to forget. The former MVP was held without an assist and was ejected in the third quarter in a blowout loss for OKC. They got revenge on Wednesday night, as Westbrook recorded his 18th triple-double, helping the Thunder hold off the Grizzlies, 103-95. The MVP candidate for this season had 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists, despite shooting 6-of-19, and missing all seven three-point attempts. He now has 55 triple-doubles in his career, and has already matched his 2015-16 total, which had tied Magic Johnson for most by any player since 1981-82. The Thunder are now 15-3 this season, and 33-3 the past two seasons, when the 28-year-old puts up a triple-double.
Meanwhile, staying in the NBA, the Houston Rockets saw their nine-game winning streak come to an end, as the Timberwolves took them down, 119-105. Karl-Anthony Towns had a double-double of 23 points and 18 rebounds, while Andrew Wiggins led in scoring with 28 for the lowly T'Wolves. Shabazz Mohammad added 20 points of his own and Ricky Rubio tied his own franchise record of 17 assists to go with 10 points. Minnesota ends Houston's win streak despite James Harden's 33 points and 12 assists, as the Timberwolves used a 17-4 third-quarter run to pull away. They then went on to score the first eight points of the fourth, as Houston dropped to 31-10, while Minnesota sits at 13-26.
Ovechkin Records 1,000th Point in Caps' Win
Alex Ovechkin needed one point to reach 1,000 for his career, and it took him just 35 seconds of gametime to get there. Ovechkin scored early, finishing the night with two goals, in the Capitals' 5-2 win over the Penguins on Rivalry Night. The win not only stops Pittsburgh's win streak at five, but also moves the Caps within a point of the Blue Jackets for first in the Metropolitan Division. Washington has now won seven in a row themselves and has points in eight straight, including snapping the Blue Jackets' 16-game win streak. Within that streak they celebrated Nicklas Backstrom's 500th career assist and Ovechkin's 554th goal. Braden Holtby had 30 saves Wednesday night, while Ovechkin, Backstrom, Justin Williams, and Lars Eller found the back of the net. Ovechkin becomes the only player to score 20 goals in every season since 2007-08, and now has 21 on the year.
Broncos, Bills Name New Head Coaches
Two more teams found their new head coaches in the NFL yesterday, beginning with the Denver Broncos. After Gary Kubiak retired from the NFL, the Broncos turned to Dolphins defensive coordinator, Vance Joseph, as their new head man. The 44-year-old receives a four-year deal after spending just one season with Miami. The Broncos have been looking at Joseph for a while, interviewing him for the position in 2015 as well. He becomes the sixth active black head coach, and the fourth-youngest coach in the NFL. Joseph canceled an interview with the Chargers that was scheduled for Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills turned to another defensive coordinator, hiring Panthers' DC Sean McDermott as their new head coach. The 42-year-old is now the third-youngest head coach, replacing Rex Ryan, who was fired prior to the final game of the season. McDermott reportedly beat out three other coaches for the position, including Anthony Lynn, Harold Goodwin, and Kris Richard. McDermott spent six seasons with Carolina, and is now the 20th head coach in the Bills' 57-year history. He looks to turn the Bills' forturnes around, as they have not reached the postseason since 1999 under Wade Phillips. That 17-year drought is the longest active in the NFL, and the fifth-longest in league history.