Hot Westbrook equals triple-doubles season record
Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook produced his 41st triple-double of the season on Monday to equal Oscar Robertson’s record for most in an NBA campaign in the Thunder’s 110-79 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Westbrook secured his 41st triple-double of the season in the third quarter, matching the record Robertson established in the 1961-62 season.
He remains on pace to join Robertson as the only players to average a triple-double for a season.
Westbrook drained a three-pointer just before halftime to finish the first half with 12 points.
Minutes into the third period, he notched his 10th rebound then posted a 10th assist on Taj Gibson’s basket that put the Thunder up 67-42.
Westbrook acknowledged thunderous chants of “M-V-P! M-V-P!” with a raised arm.
“I was in shock, honestly,” Westbrook said. “Kind of just sitting there and embracing the moment.
“I didn’t realize they were stopping (the game) for me until the ref was throwing the ball,” he added.
“But I was just sitting there thanking God for the opportunity to play. The opportunity to play is something I’ll never take for granted.”
Westbrook finished the night with 12 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists in just 27 minutes on the floor in the blow-out victory.
Westbrook also moved into a tie with Wilt Chamberlain for fourth on the all-time list with his 78th career triple-double — helping the playoff-bound Thunder record their largest margin of victory this season.
Westbrook will have a chance to break Robertson’s record on Wednesday night against the Grizzlies in Memphis.
Westbrook’s seventh straight triple-double matched the career-high streak he put together earlier in the season. With two more on the trot he’d tie the mark for consecutive triple-doubles set by Chamberlain in March of 1968.
“It’s unbelievable,” Westbrook said. “It’s an honor, (a) blessing, especially to be able to reach that here at home. We have the best fans in the world. Amazing people, teammates, coaching staff. I give thanks to the man above. I want to compete at a high level and I’m thankful to be able to do that.”
Even better, Westbrook’s memorable night came in a Thunder victory — after his past two triple-doubles came in defeats.
The Thunder took a 24-point led into halftime and were never threatened.
Michael Beasley led the Bucks with 14 points. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 11 and pulled down 10 rebounds, but Milwaukee connected on just 35.8 percent of their shots and dropped their second straight decision.
Westbrook, meanwhile, had plenty of support. Reserve center Enes Kanter led the Thunder with 17 points. Gibson and Alex Abrines scored 12 apiece.
Bucks coach Jason Kidd, who is third on the all-time triple-double list with 107, said Westbrook’s charge toward history had energized the entire Thunder team.
“You can feel that in the building,” Kidd said, “and you could see that his teammates were not going to let him down tonight.”
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