An NBA blog from Newsday's Bobby Bonett
Russell Westbrook's rare night
Russell Westbrook had a signature game Tuesday night against the Miami Heat. Unfortunately for Westbrook and the Thunder, it came in a loss.
The fourth-year point guard led all scorers with 43 points, connecting on 20 of 32 shots. He added seven rebounds and five assists, turning the ball over just three times.
As noted by @NBAHistory, Westbrook was the first player to connect on 20 field goals in an NBA Finals game since Shaquille O'Neal hit 21 shots in 2000, and just the seventh player to make at least 20 field goals in an NBA Finals game all-time.
Westbrook was the first of the seven players to lose in the game.
Perhaps the most interesting bit from Westbrook's stat line, though, was the trouble he had getting to the line. Despite being Oklahoma City's main ball-handler, and despite taking 32 shots from the field, Westbrook attempted just three free throws -- all in the final 7:20 of the fourth quarter.
Since 1985, only 17 players in the playoffs have attempted at least 30 field goals and taken no more than three free throws in a game. Only one other player since 1985 -- Scottie Pippen, in a triple-overtime loss 1993 -- had the stat line in an NBA Finals game. And no player since 2003 has taken that many shots, and attempted so few free throws.
The 17, with NBA Finals games in bold, courtesy of basketball-reference.com: