He's one of those guys you either hate or you hate. He's nasty and gnarly, jawing and clawing his way through a game. Russell Westbrook. He's all grit, they'd say in Oklahoma City, all gall, they'd say in any other city.

But there he was Wednesday, hustling (russelling?) for 28 monster minutes. In the Thunder's deluge of a win against Denver, 117-97, the point guard scored 32 points with four assists.

"Sometimes he attacked (our bigs), sometimes he shot the jumper, and he had a rhythm in both areas, very much just attacking us," Nuggets coach George Karl said of Westbrook. "We never got control. ... They were going after our pick-and-roll defense, and our big guys were always late."

The Nuggets had won six consecutive games entering Wednesday, but had played an exhausting overtime game Tuesday in Denver. It showed