Westbrook sets National Basketball Association record with 42nd triple-double

Apr 15, 2017, 02:42
Westbrook sets National Basketball Association record with 42nd triple-double

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook broke more than the National Basketball Association record for the most triple-doubles in a season on Sunday with his 50 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists. Westbrook passed Oscar Robertson's longstanding mark of 41 that was once thought to be untouchable.

Westbrook had already clinched averaging a triple-double on the season before Sunday night's game to become the only player to do that since Oscar Robertson averaged one during the 1961-62 season.

That still left the Thunder trailing by 10, but Westbrook would have none of it.

"If he stays healthy, there's no reason he couldn't eventually break my career record of 181 triple-double games". That NBA season was the first and only time a player averaged a triple-double until Westbrook achieved the feat this season. Denver squandered a 10-point lead in the game's final frame. Westbrook's victor from about 36 feet cam after Nikola Jokic missed a runner on the other end that would have put the game out of reach.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook celebrates after hitting a buzzer beating three point shot to win the game against the Denver Nuggets Sunday, April 9, 2017, in Denver.

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Westbrook is now the owner of the NBA's all-time record with 42 triple-doubles for a single season. Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics was named the NBA MVP that season. He has long silenced any doubt the Thunder would still be competitive in the Western Conference after Kevin Durant's departure to the Golden State Warriors.

Since mid-season, James Harden has seemed to be running away with the MVP in the NBA's most exciting race in years, thanks to greater efficiency and team record than Westbrook.

And even if Houston has the edge in the wins category, voters can't discount Westbrook's historic level of play when making their choice for the MVP award. Westbrook leads the league in scoring and is third in assists and 10th in rebounds. The Rockets superstar has averages of 29.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 11.2 assists this season. Robertson, however, believes Westbrook is the clear MVP and recently told USA TODAY Sports that Westbrook is "the triple-double king".

When asked about Brodie's record-breaking performance on Sunday, Harden replied, "It's a huge accomplishment".