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George scores 30, Thunder beat Pistons 123-110

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Paul George had a simple explanation for why the Oklahoma City Thunder pulled away from the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

''Blake Griffin wasn't Steph Curry no more,'' he said.

George scored 30 points, and the Thunder held off Griffin's 45-point onslaught to beat the Pistons 123-110 on Friday night.

Griffin was a game-time decision after missing the previous three games with left knee soreness. He made 11 of 15 shots and had 44 points the first three quarters, including nine of 14 3-pointers. He missed all five of his field goal attempts in the fourth and scored just one point.

''His legs was probably a little shot, but he played an unbelievable game,'' George said. ''That was the key at that point, was just try to wear him down and force somebody else to beat us.''

Russell Westbrook added 19 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds for the Thunder, who have won two straight as they try to avoid the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

Westbrook clinched a triple-double average for the third straight season.

''I do what I do every single night,'' Westbrook said. ''Regardless of what anybody says, what they call it, what they say, I'm just thankful. All the teammates in this locker room, all the teammates over these last couple years have made my job easy. I just try to do what I can to impact the game, every facet.''

George is impressed with what he has seen in two years as Westbrook's teammate.

''He'll go down as a Hall-of-Famer, one of the best,'' George said. ''Nobody, I don't believe, will be able to match that or beat that. You've got to be wired a certain way on a nightly basis to compete at that level. He's special.''

Griffin made a deep 3-pointer in the closing seconds of first half to put the Pistons up 66-65 at the break. He scored 31 points before the break and made 6 of 9 3-pointers.

Westbrook drove to the rim and spun 360 degrees and dropped off a perfect pass behind his back and over his left shoulder for Steven Adams, who dunked it to give the Thunder a 92-86 lead late in the third quarter.

''I saw him when I got the rebound,'' he said. ''I just hoped he kept running.''

When it was suggested that it looked like a Magic Johnson pass, he said, ''No, I got a little Russell Westbrook. That's what you got.''

Back-to-back 3s by Westbrook and Grant put the Thunder up 113-101 midway through the fourth, and a lob from Dennis Schroder to Jerami Grant for a jam pushed the lead to 14.

The Pistons are battling to get into the Eastern Conference playoffs and have three games remaining.

''It's the season,'' Detroit coach Dwane Casey said. ''Three games. It's in our hands. It's right in our hands, and nobody else but us.''

TIP-IN

Pistons: Griffin scored 17 points in the first quarter. ... Former Thunder backup point guard Reggie Jackson scored 10 points in 27 minutes. He was booed during pregame introductions.

Thunder: Westbrook was called for a Flagrant 1 in the second quarter for a hard foul on Zaza Pachulia in the second quarter. ... Adams committed three fouls in the first six minutes, but finished with four in 24 minutes. ... George was called for a technical in the third quarter.

GEORGE'S SHOULDER

George has had problems with his shoulders in recent weeks. He had his left shoulder covered at one point as he waited at the scorers' table.

''When I'm just doing that, it's just to keep it warm, keep it loose so I'm not stiff or tighten up,'' he said.

QUOTABLE

Westbrook, on how people will remember his three straight seasons averaging a triple-double: ''I take it one day at a time. That's it, man. That's it. It'll hit me at some point, just like it's going to hit everyone else in this room, too.''

UP NEXT

Pistons: Host Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.

Thunder: At the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Lost ball turnover on Zaza Pachulia, stolen by Hamidou Diallo 0:20
+ 1 Deonte Burton made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:38
  OKC team rebound 0:38
  Deonte Burton missed 1st of 2 free throws 0:38
  Shooting foul on Thon Maker 0:38
  Turnover on Thon Maker 0:45
  Offensive foul on Thon Maker 0:45
  Bad pass turnover on Nerlens Noel, stolen by Thon Maker 0:47
  Defensive rebound by Jerami Grant 0:49
  Defensive rebound by Ish Smith 1:15
  OKC team rebound 1:18
Team Stats
Points 110 123
Field Goals 35-81 (43.2%) 48-101 (47.5%)
3-Pointers 15-41 (36.6%) 12-29 (41.4%)
Free Throws 25-31 (80.6%) 15-22 (68.2%)
Total Rebounds 41 71
Offensive 4 21
Defensive 28 38
Team 9 12
Assists 20 30
Steals 10 10
Blocks 8 4
Turnovers 14 17
Fouls 23 25
Technicals 1 1
45 PTS, 7 REB, 3 AST
19 PTS, 8 REB, 15 AST
1234T
away team logo Pistons 39-40 34323014110
home team logo Thunder 46-33 30353226123
Team Stats
away team logo Pistons 39-40 98.0 PPG 42.3 RPG 23.0 APG
home team logo Thunder 46-33 105.2 PPG 43.2 RPG 22.6 APG
Key Players
B. Griffin PF 24.5 PPG 7.5 RPG 5.4 APG 46.2 FG%
P. George SF PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
B. Griffin PF 45 PTS 7 REB 3 AST
P. George SF 30 PTS 8 REB 4 AST
43.2 FG% 47.5
36.6 3PT FG% 41.4
80.6 FT% 68.2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
B. Griffin 45 7 3 11/20 9/14 14/16 0 34 2 0 1 0 7 -11 59
R. Jackson 10 1 3 4/14 2/8 0/1 4 27 1 0 2 0 1 -2 16
W. Ellington 8 4 3 3/12 2/9 0/0 3 31 1 0 0 1 3 +1 19
B. Brown 5 2 2 2/3 0/1 1/1 1 20 2 0 1 0 2 0 12
A. Drummond 4 9 0 2/3 0/0 0/2 3 26 1 5 5 2 7 -6 14
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
B. Griffin 45 7 3 11/20 9/14 14/16 0 34 2 0 1 0 7 -11 59
R. Jackson 10 1 3 4/14 2/8 0/1 4 27 1 0 2 0 1 -2 16
W. Ellington 8 4 3 3/12 2/9 0/0 3 31 1 0 0 1 3 +1 19
B. Brown 5 2 2 2/3 0/1 1/1 1 20 2 0 1 0 2 0 12
A. Drummond 4 9 0 2/3 0/0 0/2 3 26 1 5 5 2 7 -6 14
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
I. Smith 12 3 4 5/10 0/0 2/2 2 20 1 0 2 0 3 -11 22
L. Galloway 11 2 1 4/10 1/5 2/2 2 26 0 0 0 1 1 -12 15
T. Maker 8 1 1 3/5 1/3 1/2 5 17 1 3 1 0 1 -10 14
Z. Pachulia 7 2 1 1/1 0/0 5/5 2 17 0 0 1 0 2 +1 10
G. Robinson III 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0
K. Thomas 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0
L. Kennard 0 1 2 0/2 0/1 0/0 1 15 1 0 1 0 1 -13 5
K. Lucas - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Leuer - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Mykhailiuk - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Whitehead - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Calderon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 110 32 20 35/81 15/41 25/31 23 235 10 8 14 4 28 -65 186
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
P. George 30 8 4 11/24 4/7 4/4 1 36 2 0 4 2 6 +5 44
R. Westbrook 19 8 15 6/18 1/4 6/10 2 35 1 0 4 1 7 +4 54
J. Grant 19 7 0 8/16 3/8 0/2 3 34 0 0 1 0 7 +3 25
S. Adams 14 14 0 7/9 0/0 0/0 4 23 0 2 2 8 6 +1 28
T. Ferguson 2 4 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 3 28 0 0 1 1 3 -2 5
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
P. George 30 8 4 11/24 4/7 4/4 1 36 2 0 4 2 6 +5 44
R. Westbrook 19 8 15 6/18 1/4 6/10 2 35 1 0 4 1 7 +4 54
J. Grant 19 7 0 8/16 3/8 0/2 3 34 0 0 1 0 7 +3 25
S. Adams 14 14 0 7/9 0/0 0/0 4 23 0 2 2 8 6 +1 28
T. Ferguson 2 4 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 3 28 0 0 1 1 3 -2 5
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
D. Schroder 14 7 10 6/14 1/5 1/1 2 30 1 0 1 2 5 +22 41
M. Morris 12 5 1 5/12 1/2 1/1 4 17 0 0 0 5 0 +6 19
N. Noel 6 4 0 2/2 0/0 2/2 3 15 4 2 3 2 2 +12 13
R. Felton 6 1 0 2/4 2/2 0/0 1 11 1 0 0 0 1 +8 8
D. Burton 1 0 0 0/0 0/0 1/2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 +1 1
P. Patterson 0 1 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 1 4 0 0 1 0 1 +3 0
A. Nader 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 +1 0
H. Diallo 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 +1 1
A. Roberson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Grantham - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Evans - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 123 59 30 48/101 12/29 15/22 25 236 10 4 17 21 38 +65 239