Westbrook's Triple-Double Leads Rockets Over Pelicans

Westbrook passes Magic Johnson for 2nd on triple-doubles list

Adam Spolane
October 26, 2019 - 11:56 pm

Photo by Troy Taormina/USA Today

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610)- With the help of the 139th triple-double of Russell Westbrook's career, the Rockets earned their first win of the 2019-2020 season by beating the New Orleans Pelicans 126-123 Saturday night at Toyota Center. 

Westbrook scored 28 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 13 assists as he passed Magic Johnson for second on the NBA's all-time triple-double list.

Ten of Westbrook's points came in a fourth quarter that began with the Rockets trailing 100-97. He tied the game with a three-point play on the Rockets first possession of the period, which started an 8-0 run. He found P.J. Tucker for a three-pointer before swiping the ball from Brandon Ingram and taking it the other way for a dunk. The Rockets led by as many as seven in the final quarter, but the Pelicans rallied to pull within one with 11.4 seconds left, but after Westbrook drained a pair of free throws, Josh Hart missed from 29-feet out at the buzzer.

In his second game as a Rocket, Westbrook shot 9-of-17 from the field and 9-of-10 from the free throw line.

James Harden led the Rockets in scoring with 29 points, despite shooting just 8-of-2 from the floor and 2-of-18 from behind the three-point arc.

P.J. Tucker added 16 points.

Harden's three-pointer with 2:15 to play in the first quarter staked the Rockets to a 29-19 lead, though with Harden out of the game, New Orleans scored the final five points of the period, and while the Rockets built the lead back to eight, J.J. Reddick capped a 14-6 burst to tie the game with 6:59 remaining before halftime. There were six ties and five lead changes before the quarter ended with the game level at 61.

Houston led early in the third quarter only to see New Orleans catch fire and take a six point lead on Brandon Ingram's three-point play. Ingram led all scorers with 35 points while adding 15 rebounds. 

The Rockets will be in action again Monday when Chris Paul makes his return to Toyota Center for the first time since the July trade that sent him to the Oklahoma City Thunder.