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Good morning. Great googly moogly, Russell Westbrook.

Man. Plenty on Russ and more in Thursday's NBA newsletter. SUBSCRIBE!

Good morning. Let's basketball.

GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY: Russell Westbrook came back wearing a mask and a headband and played exactly the same way he did before a teammate dented his face: like a maniac. He ended up with his fourth straight triple-double, the first time anyone's done that since MJ in 1989. And it was a 49-point triple-double! And he had one of the most electric fast break dunks of the season. I'm starting to believe he has a real shot at this MVP thing ... (Noted: the Thunder needed overtime to beat the Sixers at home.)

SPEAKING OF SAVIORS: Anthony Davis came back too, and racked up 39 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks. The Pelicans edged the Pistons to keep pace at one game behind OKC. These dudes are incredible.

OH DEAR: With the game tied and two seconds to go, DeAndre Jordan rebounded a Chris Paul miss and ... stood there with the ball. He'd heard the shot clock buzzer, assumed it was the game buzzer and didn't process CP3's demonstrative message to SHOOT THE BALL in time. The Blazers won in overtime.

THE REST OF LAST NIGHT IN 54 SECONDS: Isiah Thomas set the tone for a crazy Wednesday night of basketball with one of the most creepy masks ever worn. Tyler Zeller scored a gamewinner on a handsome play to lead the Celtics over the Jazz. In Houston, James Harden got mugged on a critical play but didn't get the call ... and then Marc Gasol won the game for Memphis. (Live by the whistle, die by the whistle.) The Cavaliers beat the Raptors in Toronto with all of the Big Three going crazy. The Pacers pounded the Knicks to keep their run going. The Suns beat the Magic. The Hornets destroyed the Nets. The Heat beat the Lakers. The Spurs smashed the Kings like Kawhi Leonard smashed on DeMarcus Cousins. Big Baby did his first ab workout in years. The Warriors beat the Bucks and man is Stephen Curry getting cocky. Denver beat the Wolves and is officially streaking under new coach Melvin Hunt.

Whew. Lots of basketball. Get a fuller picture of the night at our NBA Scores hub.


OF COURSE HE CAN: Gerald Green pulls out a nice dunk in his socks.

DELIGHTFUL: The college basketball season in Vines.

ON DEANDRE: Good piece on DeAndre Jordan becoming fully realized as an NBA star in Blake Griffin's absence.

NO SHUTTLESWORTH: Ray Allen has decided not to play this season. He's left the door open for next season.

DON'T LOOK NOW: But Nerlens Noel is already becoming quite an imposing defender.

NOTED: Derek Fisher is super mad at his team.

WELP: Nine first-time NBA head coaches were hired in 2013. Three have already been fired or left.

WELL THEN: Marshall Henderson is playing pro basketball in Iraq.

MUDIAY TIME: Jeff Goodman talks to guys who played against draft prospect Emmanuel Mudiay in China and Danny Chau assesses whether the experiment was a success.

THE OTHER NO. 1: Very nice Jahlil Okafor profile by Chris Herring.

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Happy Thursday, my friends. See you next time.


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