Ballin': Russell Westbrook, MVP Candidate?

Ballin': Russell Westbrook, MVP Candidate?

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Ballin': Russell Westbrook, MVP Candidate?

Oklahoma City 124, New Jersey 121, 3 OT: Is Russell Westbrook playing good enough to get in the early-season MVP discussion? With Kevin Durant sitting out (knee), Westbrook went for 38 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists, plus a bevy of highlight reel plays as the Thunder improved to 13-6. Jeff Green added 37 for the Thunder. Jordan Farmar, starting for injured Devin Harris, split 56 points with Brook Lopez. A ridiculous Anthony Morrow triple (video after the jump) forced overtime.

Houston 109, LA Lakers 99: A fourth quarter collapse resulted in the Lakers’ fourth straight loss. The timing of the losing streak is fortuitous – nobody’s paying attention because they’re all wrapped up in the LeBron/Miami/Cleveland drama. Pau Gasol had a hamstring issue that limited him to only eight shots in 38 minutes; Kobe jacked 24 shots in 31 minutes. Most disconcerting had to be getting outscored 33-21 in the fourth quarter against a bad Houston team (and letting offensive machine Shane Battier do the damage!). But considering LA’s last two losses – Indy, Memphis – maybe that should have been expected.

LA Clippers 90, San Antonio 85: Blake Griffin is the NBA’s most explosive player since … Dwight Howard? Griffin continued to put distance between himself and John Wall for ROY with 31 points and 13 rebounds in a win over the team with the NBA’s best record. Baron Davis played for the first time in four weeks and had 10 assists in 23 minutes off the bench. After meeting with Eva Longoria earlier in the day, Tony Parker played just 18 minutes and scored two points.

Orlando 107, Chicago 78: Dwight Howard stamped this shot return to sender. The Magic had this one sewn up at the half. Carlos Boozer played his first game of the season (5 points on five shots in 21 minutes). No, the Bulls are not the “best” team in the East right now. By season’s end? Perhaps. We still like Orlando.

Miami 97, Detroit 72: A warmup for The Game tonight in Cleveland. D Wade only played 18 minutes and scored 16 points; LeBron led everyone with 31. How pathetic were the Pistons? Nine points in the third quarter, and no starter scored in double figures. Rookie Greg Monroe led them in scoring with 15. It’s time to start thinking about 2011 draft, Pistons fans.

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