- Associated Press - Sunday, February 26, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Russell Westbrook blew past Steven Adams’ pick and saw 6-foot-11, 270-pound DeMarcus Cousins slide over to block his path to the rim.

Westbrook didn’t care. Oklahoma City’s 6-3 point guard leaped up and uncorked a devastating right-handed jam over the new member of the New Orleans Pelicans. It drew Cousins‘ sixth foul with 2:38 to go, and the Thunder led the rest of the way.

Westbrook scored 41 points in his 29th triple-double of the season to help his squad beat the Pelicans 118-110 on Sunday night.

The fact that Cousins fouled out was secondary to Westbrook.

“It don’t matter how many fouls,” Westbrook said. “It didn’t matter. I just jumped, and it went in to finish it.”

Newly acquired Thunder forward Doug McDermott, unaccustomed to such feats, was stunned.

“Man, it was crazy,” he said. “I’m glad I’m on his side.”

Westbrook had a career-best 21 fourth-quarter points. He shot 7 for 19 from the field the first three quarters and was 7 for 10 in the fourth.

“Throughout games, I’ve got to find a better way to pick my spots,” he said. “Tonight was the fourth quarter. Some nights it may be early, some nights it may be late.”

Westbrook also had 11 rebounds and 11 assists in the 66th triple-double of his career.

Enes Kanter had 20 points and nine rebounds, and Adams added 13 points and 10 boards for the Thunder, who won their third straight.

Anthony Davis scored 38 points. Cousins had 31 points and 10 rebounds, but played just 22 minutes.

“We put ourselves in position to win, and when you do that, you have to make plays down the stretch,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “We didn’t, and they did.”

The Pelicans fell to 0-3 since acquiring Cousins in a trade with Sacramento.

“It’s a learning curve right now,” Cousins said. “We’re still getting to know one another. Just keep growing.”

Davis scored 24 points in the first quarter to help the Pelicans take a 35-32 lead. Cousins, who missed most of the first quarter with foul trouble, scored 14 in the second, and the game was tied at 59 at the break.

Cousins picked up his fifth foul in the final minute of the third quarter, and the Thunder entered the fourth with an 87-84 lead.

Westbrook’s dunk over Cousins and the free throw put the Thunder up 110-106. Another slam by Westbrook in the final minute put the game away.

TIP-INS

Pelicans: Cousins picked up a technical and two personal fouls in the first 95 seconds. It was his 18th technical this season and if not rescinded will trigger another one-game suspension. … Gentry and F Solomon Hill were called for technicals after the first half ended.

Thunder: It was Westbrook’s fourth triple-double this season in which he scored at least 40 points. … G Victor Oladipo missed his second straight game with back spasms. … Westbrook was called for a technical in the first quarter. … Oklahoma City outrebounded the Pelicans 53-35. … G Alex Abrines scored 13 points in his second start.

STAT LINES

Davis’ 24 points in the first were the second-most points by a Thunder opponent in a quarter since the team moved to Oklahoma City for the 2008-09 season. Gerald Green scored 25 for Phoenix against the Thunder back in 2014.

QUOTABLE

Cousins, on if it’s hard to find a rhythm after being in and out with foul trouble: “You know, it is, but I have to find a way to play through it,” he said. “I have to fight through the adversity and ignore the negativity and just do what’s best for the team.”

UP NEXT

Pelicans: Host Detroit on Wednesday.

Thunder: Host Northwest Division leader Utah on Tuesday.

___

Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP.

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