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Russell Westbrook Sets Record With 42nd Triple-Double - This Is Sports Zone
 
 

Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook broke Oscar Robertson’s record for triple-doubles in a season in spectacular, storybook fashion. Westbrook’s 42nd triple-double of the season was a 50-point, 16-rebound, 10-assist performance Sunday that concluded with his 36-foot buzzer-beater that gave the Thunder a 106-105 victory over the Denver Nuggets, who were eliminated from playoff contention with the loss. Robertson recorded 41 triple-doubles in 1961-62, when he averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game, making him the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double until Westbrook accomplished the feat this season.

It was Westbrook’s third 50-plus-point triple-double, all coming this season, more than any player in NBA history has in his career. Westbrook has scored at least 40 points in eight triple-doubles this season. Westbrook had a double-double before halftime, finishing the first half with 23 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists. He recorded his 10th assist by feeding Semaj Christon for a 3 in the right corner with 4:17 remaining in the fourth quarter after the crowd had groaned with Thunder players failed to finish on the previous few passes that could have clinched the record for Westbrook.

The Pepsi Center crowd immediately responded with a standing ovation. During the next break in play, the Nuggets’ public-address announcer congratulated Westbrook on the record. Westbrook got another standing ovation after the buzzer, as Nuggets fans acknowledged and celebrated his historic season and afternoon. Westbrook briefly waved to acknowledge the announcement of his record-breaking accomplishment, but he was in no mood to savor the moment with the Thunder trailing by 10 at the time.

He made a driving layup seconds later to start an individual scoring spree of the Thunder’s last 15 points in the final 3:35. Westbrook has pulled off similar comebacks in recent road victories over the Dallas Mavericks and Orlando Magic and has consistently dominated in crunch time this season, leading the NBA with 247 clutch points, as defined by when the score is within five points in the final five minutes. As the crowd roared after Westbrook’s buzzer-beater, he leapt high in the air before being mobbed by his celebrating teammates.

Westbrook began averaging a triple-double on Nov. 29 against the New York Knicks, and maintained the averages for the rest of the season, never dropping below 10 in any category. Throughout the season Westbrook would often grow agitated talking about triple-doubles, but as he made history recently, Westbrook has been far more reflective and appreciative. Westbrook’s season has been full of history, with him running up two streaks of seven consecutive triple-doubles, second only to Wilt Chamberlain’s streak of nine. He sits fourth all-time in career triple-doubles at 79, with only Robertson, Magic Johnson and Jason Kidd having recorded more.

Westbrook is also headed for his second scoring title, leading the league averaging 31.9 points per game. It’s the highest scoring mark of Westbrook’s career, to go with career marks in rebounding (10.7) and assists (10.4), making Westbrook a strong MVP candidate.

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