Russell Westbrook, the reigning league MVP, became just the fourth player in National Basketball Association history to reach the milestone of 100 triple-doubles (games with a minimum of 10 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds) during Oklahoma City Thunder's 119-107 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday (Wednesday AEDT).
Westbrook is barely halfway to Robertson's career record of 181 triple-doubles, but he's definitely got Johnson (138) and Kidd (107) in his sights.
Westbrook spoke after the game about the fantastic feat he accomplished.
"The group of guys that's ahead are Hall of Famers". "So, it's nearly like, 'Hey, we're gonna live with something.' And I think he's done a great job here of late of getting into the lane and recognizing, 'OK, these teams are loading up, and now what I gotta do is spray it around and find people, ' I just think he's evaluating how our group is being defended". This season, with more offensive help around him after the Thunder acquired George and Anthony, Westbrook has still managed 21 triple-doubles. Westbrook needed 736 games to get there, but he's really stepped up the pace since Kevin Durant left for Golden State.
Not even the great Oscar Robertson was able to put up two triple-double seasons. Only this time, his Thunder squad is better.
Jerami Grant had a nice game off the bench with 20 points, including two three-pointers, one of which gave OKC a five point lead at 108-103 after the Hawks had tied the game at 103. But George paid tribute to his point guard after the game.
Westbrook has turned the art of the triple-double into something that looks like it can be done easily. And looking beyond the scope of Westbrook's career, he has more triple-doubles than 23 of the other 29 active franchises do ... all-time! The 76ers seem especially susceptible; Westbrook has six triple-doubles against them.
The triple-double records accomplished a year ago were some that were famously said to unbreakable.
Westbrook is a one-man wrecking ball on the court and that has shown ever since he became the lone franchise player in OKC, taking full rein of the team's outcome in his own hands.
He makes the game looks easy in a way that the person that signed him to a sneaker deal did.
"I think he feels good right now at this point and time", Donovan said.