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Russell Westbrook's historic night propelled the Thunder past the Warriors

The Thunder got a much, much needed win against the Warriors thanks to a historic performance by Russell Westbrook.

The Oklahoma City Thunder desperately needed a win Friday against the Golden State Warriors to keep up the pace with the other Western Conference teams in their quest for the playoffs after losing three of their last five. They prevailed, scoring 127 points on the best defense in the league thanks to Kevin Durant's 36 points and a particularly inspired night by Russell Westbrook.

Westbrook had one of the most impressive triple-doubles in recent history. He finished the game with 17 points, 15 rebounds and 17 assists to make up for a cold night from the field. He was responsible, either by scoring or assisting, for 56 of the Thunder's points and became the fifth player in league history to score at least 15 points, dish out 15 assists and pull down 15 rebounds, joining Larry Bird, Jason Kidd (twice), Magic Johnson (twice) and Rajon Rondo. Not bad company to be around.

It was a marquee win for the Thunder, even if the Warriors were without Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala. They held Stephen Curry in check, allowing him to score only 19 points and forcing him into as many turnovers (6) as assists. Klay Thompson and Marreese Speights kept Golden State in the game by combining to score 52 points on 38 shots, but Durant's excellence throughout and Serge Ibaka's huge fourth quarter were too much for the Warriors to overcome. Dion Waiters also had a good game for the Thunder, adding 21 points off the bench. The night belonged to Westbrook, however, and not just due to the fantastic game he had.

In the post-game press huddle, Westbrook decided to answer every question with a variation of "good execution." When a journalist from The Oklahoman asked him if he was upset about something, he said "no, I just don't like you." It wasn't surprising to see Westbrook being confrontational with the press. He has built a reputation as someone difficult to handle. What was curious was the timing, as the team had just gotten a valuable win and he had had a fantastic performance against one of the top point guards in the league.

Ultimately what will be remembered from Friday's night will be Westbrook's play and the Thunder's victory. The Thunder will now go on a five-game road trip through the East, with games against the Hawks, Wizards and Cavaliers. How they do in that stretch could tell us a lot about their playoff chances. If Westbrook can continue to put on breathtaking performances, it won't be surprising to see Oklahoma City climb up the standings soon.