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Westbrook triple double as Thunder defeat Jazz

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SAN ANTONIO SPURS guard Brandon Paul (#3) pursues Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (#0) around a screen set by Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (#12) during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. — MARK D. SMITH-USA TODAY SPORTS

LOS ANGELES — Russell Westbrook bagged a second consecutive triple double as the Oklahoma City Thunder staged a late rally to sink the Utah Jazz on Tuesday.

Westbrook, who had guided the Thunder to a victory over San Antonio on Sunday with his seventh triple of the season, bagged his eighth of the campaign in a 100-94 win at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The reigning NBA MVP finished with 34 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists as OKC improved to 11-12 in the Western Conference standings.

Paul George had 21 points and New Zealand center Steven Adams 20 while Carmelo Anthony added 14 for the home side.

Donovan Mitchell led the scoring for Utah with 31 points while Joe Ingles had 16 points.

Westbrook’s virtuoso performance helped dig the Thunder out of a hole after Utah raced into a 28-19 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Utah led 47-39 at halftime and jumped out to an 80-68 lead heading into the final quarter.

But with Utah seemingly poised for victory, the Thunder exploded in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Jazz 32-14 to win.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Devin Booker’s scintillating run of recent form came to an unhappy end as the Phoenix Suns prodigy was carried off the court in his team’s defeat to the Toronto Raptors.

Booker, who had scored 46 points on Monday and 38 points on Saturday, was helped away at the end of the fourth quarter after bagging 19 points.

Toronto claimed a 126-113 win to improve to 15-7 as Phoenix fell to 9-17.

Kyle Lowry was the key figure for the Raptors, finishing with 20 points, 10 assists and six rebounds.

The Raptors were in control throughout, leading by 18 points heading into the fourth quarter.

Phoenix rallied to cut the lead to 10 with 8 minutes and 44 seconds to play, but Lowry pushed Toronto back in front by 14 with a three-pointer with just over five minutes left.

DeMar DeRozan was also influential for Toronto, bagging 20 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Serge Ibaka had 19 points, while OG Anunoby (16), C.J. Miles had (15), Jakob Poeltl (13), Fred VanVleet (13) also made double figures.

Phoenix team officials later said Booker had suffered an adductor strain.

Alex Len scored 14 points for Phoenix with Troy Daniels and Josh Jackson adding 13 points each.

CURRY OUT OF HORNETS CLASH WITH ANKLE SPRAIN
Stephen Curry was ruled out of Golden State’s next game against the Charlotte Hornets but it is not clear when the NBA star will return, the team said Tuesday.

Curry limped off court after Golden State’s dramatic win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday after twisting his right ankle.

The Warriors ace later left the arena on crutches, although an X-ray taken soon after the game came back negative.

The Warriors said in a statement on Tuesday an MRI scan confirmed a sprained right ankle and that Curry would miss Wednesday’s game in Charlotte.

“The MRI indicated that the ankle is stable and structurally intact,” the team said, adding that Curry will be “re-evaluated in two weeks.”

Curry told reporters after the game he was furious at the play that caused his injury, when he tangled with New Orleans guard E’Twaun Moore.

“It was a dumb play because I tried to go for a steal,” Curry said. “And then, obviously, it was just a bang-bang (play). I got caught on E’Twaun’s shoe as I went by him and couldn’t catch myself.

“So obviously it hurt, but wanted to kind of get back here, get ice on it and get the rehab process started as soon as possible.”— AFP

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