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Westbrook passes Payton as Thunder franchise scoring leader

Russell Westbrook’s name is a common occurrence within the Thunder’s franchise record books. On Thursday, the former Kia MVP climbed to the top in one of them.

With a driving layup late in the first quarter against New Orleans, the eight-time All-Star passed Hall-of-Famer Gary Payton to become the team’s all-time scoring leader. Westbrook needed just five points entering the game to do so, having scored all 18,203 points with the same franchise that drafted him fourth overall in 2008.

Payton earned his laurels when the team resided in Seattle, guiding the Supersonics to the 1996 Finals while earning nine All-Star appearances, nine All-NBA Defense honors and the 1995-96 Defensive Player of the Year award.

Payton and Westbrook’s respective names are at the top of several franchise records, including assists, steals, and field goals (made and attempted).

Westbrook finished Thursday’s 131-122 loss with 44 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, extending his NBA record triple-double streak to 11 games.