Double Dribble

An NBA blog from Newsday's Bobby Bonett

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Russell Westbrook's rare night

Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder

Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder directs the offense in the second half against the Miami Heat in Game 4. (June 19, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

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:

Player Date ▾ Tm Opp   MP FG FGA FG% FT FTA FT% PTS
Russell Westbrook 2012-06-19 OKC MIA L 45 20 32 .625 3 3 1.000 43
Kobe Bryant 2003-05-13 LAL SAS L 48 15 31 .484 1 2 .500 36
Kobe Bryant 2003-05-05 LAL SAS L 45 16 38 .421 2 2 1.000 37
Kevin Garnett 2003-04-24 MIN LAL W 43 15 31 .484 3 3 1.000 33
Antoine Walker 2002-05-21 BOS NJN W 43 11 32 .344 2 3 .667 26
Kobe Bryant 2002-05-10 LAL SAS W 48 15 31 .484 1 3 .333 31
Vince Carter 2001-05-18 TOR PHI W 43 17 31 .548 1 2 .500 39
Allen Iverson 2001-05-16 PHI TOR W 43 21 32 .656 2 2 1.000 52
Tracy McGrady 2001-04-25 ORL MIL L 42 15 31 .484 3 3 1.000 35
Michael Jordan 1998-05-10 CHI CHH W 40 14 31 .452 3 3 1.000 31
Hakeem Olajuwon 1995-05-16 HOU PHO W 50 14 31 .452 3 3 1.000 31
Hakeem Olajuwon 1994-05-21 HOU PHO W 44 18 33 .545 1 1 1.000 37
Scottie Pippen 1993-06-13 CHI PHO L 56 12 35 .343 2 2 1.000 26
Patrick Ewing 1993-05-14 NYK CHH L 47 13 31 .419 0 0   26
Reggie Lewis 1992-05-08 BOS CLE W 45 17 32 .531 2 3 .667 36
Alex English 1988-05-17 DEN DAL L 42 15 30 .500 0 2 .000 30
Mark Aguirre 1986-05-04 DAL LAL W 40 19 30 .633 0 1 .000 39
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/20/2012.

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