OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook became the sixth player in NBA history with 50 career triple-doubles, lifting the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 114-101 win over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday.

Westbrook finished with 26 points, 22 assists and 11 rebounds for the Thunder. It was his 13th triple-double this season. It is also the first 20-point, 20-assist triple-double in 18 years.

Westbrook is the third fastest player in NBA history to reach the milestone, hitting it in 614 games. Oscar Robertson reached 50 triple-doubles in 111 games, while Magic Johnson reached the milestone in 279.

Notes

Memphis Grizzlies fans might have been torn when the Cleveland Cavaliers showed up at FedEx Forum on Wednesday night – or at least what passed for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

If you paid $100 or so for a ticket, you probably weren’t thrilled that LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were left back home to rest in Cleveland, missing their lone trip this season to Memphis.

On the other hand, your chances to witness a Grizzlies’ win over the watered-down defending champs improved immensely. And the Griz did beat the Cavs, 93-85.

Cleveland Coach Tyronn Lue decided to put his Big Three in mothballs, throwing another log on the fiery debate over resting healthy – or relatively healthy – stars during the regular-season grind.

Sacramento gave center DeMarcus Cousins the night off on Wednesday, too. L.A. Clippers forward Blake Griffin and Washington Wizards point guard John Wall have been healthy scratches this season.

The NBA continues its attempt to alleviate the taxing schedule and improve the product. ESPN reports that the season will start seven to 10 days earlier next October, further reducing the number of back-to-backs and four-games-in-five-nights stretches.

It will mean cutting the preseason schedule from eight games to six or five.

Such a decision should help fatigued players who routinely play big minutes and perhaps limit those listless nights.

Dallas owner Mark Cuban tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that “the science is all there that says guys need rest,” adding, “If you protect a guy’s body, fans get to see them in more games overall.”

“My thought on holding people out en masse, I’m not really for it,” Houston Coach Mike D’Antoni said.

“You think of the kid that travels three hours to see somebody and they don’t show up, it’s tough. So it’s complicated.”

Jazz: Point guard George Hill missed his eighth consecutive game Friday with a sprained left big toe, but Coach Quinn Snyder said Hill is walking, shooting off his toes and doing toe raises.

“Frankly, he hasn’t been able to do (that),” said Snyder on Friday. “I feel like he’s turned a corner, being able to do a little bit more.

“Now the biggest thing, too, is once he’s able to start doing things more aggressively and moving, he’s going to have to start and stop. It’s different than when he was coming back from his thumb. His feet, your lower body, and particularly your big toe, I don’t know when you’re not using it.”


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