Wednesday, 13 December, 2017

Russell Westbrook secures triple-double average, falls short of record

Getty Images Getty Images
Garry Little | 09 April, 2017, 01:29

"I'm honored just to be mentioned in a conversation with Oscar Robertson", Westbrook said.

Fans stood on their feet, screaming for Russell Westbrook to grab the one rebound needed to separate himself from Oscar Robertson and grab an National Basketball Association record that has stood for 55 years. At least, he should be. He remains tied with Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson with 41 triple-doubles. The crowd chanted for Russ and even booed Steven Adams when he failed to put up a shot off a Westbrook pass that could've added to the assist total.

Despite the Thunder being down by 20 points in the fourth quarter, coach Billy Donovan left Westbrook in the game, and many presumed it was to try to let Westbrook get two more assists to break the triple-double record. Westbrook haters claim this happened because the 6'3 point guard "stat pads", that he plays the game to accumulate unfathomable statistics instead of trying to win.

After Kevin Durant bailed on the Oklahoma City Thunder this past offseason, most expected Russell Westbrook to pick up the slack and flourish in his new alpha role. Led by the ferocity of Westbrook, the Thunder opened the frame on an 18-6 run to cut its deficit to 11 points, but didn't have enough fuel in the tank. "If I wanted to get 10 assists, I could get 10 assists".

On Friday, the assists were the point of contention. Andre Drummond had 15 points and 11 rebounds. He was about to make history - setting a record that hadn't been beat in 55 years. But the argument that Harden has more to work with is simply false. It's the highest scoring mark of Westbrook's career, to go with career marks in rebounding (10.7) and assists (10.4).

Westbrook doesn't need that record to validate his season, though. He guaranteed himself double-digit points months ago. "It was just, 'Hey, I'm going to grab those arms and make you shoot free throws.' If I had to, I'd foul at half court and make them get in the bonus". The Beard has had himself nearly as good of a season as Westbrook has.

After almost every game, triple-double or not, Westbrook deals with reporters asking him whether he's chasing stats or not.

The Celtics, who were up handily, could have double or triple-teamed the Suns guard to stop him from scoring. Barring something unforeseen, the triple-double record is coming soon. However, he had some luck because this game went into overtime.

Westbrook fell two assists shy.

Westbrook's five first-quarter mishandles placed OKC in a hole from which they never recovered. He finished the half with six points, seven rebounds three assists and six turnovers. He had nine points, three rebounds and a block.

"I want to see him reach history", Booker said. For the first time in four games, the Suns possessed the lead after the first quarter, 32-19. The Suns shot 61 percent for the half and set a season high for points in the first half. Going back to Booker, it was his sixth 20-plus point quarter of the season, moving past Westbrook and Stephen Curry (five each) for most in the National Basketball Association this season. He had collected them by the early part of the third quarter.

This is the fourth and final meeting this season with the Suns having won twice in Dallas and the Mavericks victorious in Mexico City on January 12.

After the game, Westbrook went straight to the practice court and stayed there for almost an hour. "So take that Russell Westbrook".

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