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  • Russell Westbrook needed rebounds to reach a milestone Danny Trevathan Jersey , so Paul George took care of the points.

    George scored 40 points, Westbrook clinched a triple-double average for the second straight season and the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 137-123 on Wednesday night.

    Westbrook entered the game 16 rebounds shy of becoming the first player to average a triple-double for a season more than once. He reached that total with just over nine minutes left in the third quarter and received a standing ovation. He finished with just six points, but had a career-high 20 rebounds and 19 assists.

    ”I’m very, very thankful and blessed, man, to go out and compete,” Westbrook said. ”Like I’ve said many, many times, I don’t take this game for granted. I don’t take going out on the floor and competing for granted.”

    George made 13 of 20 shots, including eight of 14 3-pointers.

    ”I just caught a rhythm early,” George said. ”It’s just sticking with it, staying with the process and just putting work in – a lot of work in. It paid off tonight.”

    With a loss Authentic Kareem Hunt Jersey , the Thunder would have been a No. 8 seed and forced to play No. 1 seed Houston in the first round. Instead, Oklahoma City will play Utah.

    Steven Adams scored 24 points and Corey Brewer added 17 for the Thunder, who matched a franchise record with 20 made 3-pointers.

    Dillon Brooks scored a career-high 36 points for Memphis.

    Westbrook had one of the most unusual first halves of his career to help the Thunder take a 20-point lead. He had 12 assists and 11 rebounds, yet only scored one point and took two shots. George scored 26 points on 9-of-10 shooting, including 5 of 5 on 3-pointers in the first half to help Oklahoma City score a season-high 77 points in the first half.

    Brooks scored 16 points in the third quarter to help the Grizzlies trim their deficit to 105-96 at the end of the third quarter. The Grizzlies scored 39 points in the period.

    Memphis hung tough in the fourth quarter before back-to-back 3-pointers by Terrance Ferguson and George pushed Oklahoma City’s lead to 133-116.

    ”Obviously, I thought we had plays where we could have prevented points, but for the most part, they (Memphis) just played really well tonight,” George said. ”I thought we did a great job of not falling into just being complacent. I thought we played phenomenal tonight. It just so happened that they played well as well. It’s like that sometimes. It’s just great that we played well enough to win.”

    TIP-INS

    Grizzlies: Marc Gasol (rest), Tyreke Evans (personal reasons), JaMychal Green (knee soreness), Wayne Selden Jr. (right knee soreness) Jason Spriggs Jersey , Andrew Harrison (right wrist/left shoulder) and Jarell Martin (left ankle) all sat out.

    Thunder: Westbrook brought F Nick Collison out to midcourt with him before the game. Westbrook said he wasn’t sure if it would be the 37-year-old Collison’s last regular-season game, but he wanted the crowd to acknowledge Collison’s contribution to the franchise. … G Alex Abrines (concussion protocol) did not play. … Westbrook had seven assists in the first quarter. … Brewer was fouled on a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter and left the game for good with a knee sprain.

    STAT LINES

    Westbrook matched a season low with two field goals made and set a season low with nine field goal attempts.

    SUPPORTING CAST

    Westbrook didn’t shoot well, but the other four starters shot a combined 33 for 55 from the field.

    QUOTABLE

    Bickerstaff on the team’s 22-60 finish: ”When you go through these types of times, everybody who is involved’s true character comes out. It’s easy when things are roses and sunshine to be a good player, a good teammate, to be a positive coach, whatever it may be. But these times, who are you? Hopefully everybody involved learned from it.”

    UP NEXT

    Grizzlies: Season is over.

    Thunder: Will open the playoffs this weekend.

    It was a question that came up again this week when Atlanta played host to Georgia’s overtime loss to Alabama in the national championship game , complete with the squandering of a double-digit lead.

    Is this the worst sports city in America ?

    Turns out, the A-T-L has some stiff competition.

    To start with, here are the five biggest losers, presented in alphabetical order with their rare accomplishments and plethora of failures.

    Congratulations Womens Tom Pyatt Jersey , Minneapolis-St. Paul, you just missed the cut.

    ATLANTA

    Major Pro Championships: One. The Braves won the 1995 World Series.

    Flops: The Braves fell short of a championship every other time during their run of 14 straight division titles. The Falcons lost twice in the Super Bowl. The Hawks have never reached the NBA Finals. Two NHL teams – the Flames and the Thrashers – moved to Canada.

    Back To School: Atlanta (along with nearby Athens) does get some credit for its college sports. Georgia Tech claimed a share of the football national championship in 1990. The University of Georgia, about 75 miles away, captured the 1980 title and is one of the nation’s most prominent programs.

    Biggest Disappointment: The Falcons blowing a 25-point lead in last year’s Super Bowl .

    Did You Know? The Chiefs won the 1968 North American Soccer League title, so some Atlantans insist the city has two championships. Nice try.

    BUFFALO

    Major Pro Championships: None (sorry, two titles won by the Bills before the American Football League merged with the NFL fail to qualify).

    Flops: The Bills lost four straight Super Bowls in the early 1990s and had the longest active postseason drought of any North American franchise (2000-16) before making the playoffs this season. The Sabres came up short in their two trips to the Stanley Cup final and are now on course to miss the NHL playoffs for the seventh year in a row. The Braves lasted just eight NBA seasons in the 1970s before moving to San Diego.

    Back To School: The University of Buffalo football team has only two winning seasons since moving up to the NCAA FBS ranks in 1999. The Bulls men’s basketball team was one-and-done in its two NCAA tournament appearances.

    Biggest Disappointment: History might have been a lot different if Scott Norwood had made a 47-yard field goal with just seconds to play in the 1991 Super Bowl. It went wide right, and the Bills lost to the Giants 20-19. Buffalo was blown out in its next three Super Bowls.

    Did You Know? Buffalo had a team in the baseball’s Federal League, which attempted to become a third major league in the 1914-15. It didn’t work out.

    CLEVELAND

    Major Pro Championships: Eight. A rather high number for this list, but the Indians won the last of their two World Series titles in 1948 and the Browns have never been to the Super Bowl, though they do have four NFL championships from the 1950s and `60s. LeBron James and the Cavaliers really messed things up by winning their first NBA crown in 2016. (Left off this list: the Browns’ four straight AAFC titles and the Cleveland Bulldogs, whoever they were, taking the 1924 championship in the fledgling NFL.)

    Flops: The Indians were swept in the 1954 World Series after winning 111 games Emmitt Smith Jersey , and they squandered a lead in the ninth inning of Game 7 in the `97 Series. The Browns went 0-16 this season . The Cavs have lost three times in the NBA Finals. The Barons expired in the 1970s after lasting just two NHL seasons.

    Back To School: Best we can come up with is nearby Youngstown State winning four FCS national football titles.

    Biggest Disappointment: In the 1987 AFC championship game at Cleveland, John Elway directed the Broncos 98 yards for a tying touchdown in the final minute of regulation, a possession forever known as ”The Drive.” The Broncos advanced to the Super Bowl with a field goal in overtime.

    Did You Know? The Rams started out in Cleveland. They even won the NFL title in 1945 – and moved to Los Angeles the very next season.

    PHOENIX

    Major Pro Championships: One. The Arizona Diamondbacks won the 2001 World Series in their fourth year of existence.

    Flops: The Arizona Cardinals have made just five NFL playoff appearances since moving to the desert in 1988. The Phoenix Suns lost twice in the NBA Finals. The NHL Coyotes are an attendance-challenged franchise that seems constantly on the verge of moving .

    Back To School: In 1996, Arizona State’s bid for a perfect season and its first national football title ended with a 20-17 loss to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. The program hasn’t come close to matching that level of success.

    Biggest Disappointment: The Cardinals made an improbable run to the 2009 Super Bowl, only to lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-23.

    Did You Know? The city does have a three-time WNBA champion, the Phoenix Mercury.

    SAN DIEGO

    Major Pro Championships: None (as with Buffalo, we’re not counting the Chargers’ 1963 AFL title, nor the 10 indoor soccer titles won by the Sockers).

    Flops: The Padres were blown out in their two World Series appearances. The Chargers only Super Bowl run ended with a 49-26 rout by the 49ers. A pair of NBA teams, the Rockets and the Clippers, abandoned the city.

    Back To School: San Diego State twice reached the men’s basketball Sweet 16 under Steve Fisher. That’s about it for the college game.

    Biggest Disappointment: After failing to work out a deal for a new stadium, the Chargers moved to Los Angeles last year .

    Did You Know? Wilt Chamberlain was blocked in court when he Cincinnati Bengals Jerseys