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Westbrook completes date with NBA history

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 10: Russell Westbrook #4 of the Washington Wizards celebrates after scoring to cut lead with under a minute left in the fourth quarter of a game between the Washington Wizards and the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on May 10, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Casey Sykes/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Casey Sykes / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)
Russell Westbrook of the Washington Wizards (AFP)

Golden State 119, Utah 116

Indiana 111, Cleveland 102

Atlanta 125, Washington 124

Memphis 115, New Orleans 110

San Antonio 146, Milwaukee 125

Portland 140, Houston 129        

LOS ANGELES (AFP) ‒ Russell Westbrook wrote his way into NBA history on Monday, bagging the 182nd triple-double of his career to break Oscar Robertson’s 47-year-old record.

Washington Wizards star Westbrook, who had equaled Robertson’s record of 181 triples on Saturday, sealed his record-breaking triple with 8min 33sec remaining in Monday’s 125-124 defeat to the Atlanta Hawks.

Westbrook’s 36th triple-double of the season included 28 points, 21 assists and 13 rebounds. He is already assured of averaging a triple-double per game this season.

A triple-double occurs when a player makes double-digit tallies in three of the five major statistical categories in a game ‒ points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks.

Westbrook has averaged a triple-double per game in four of the last five seasons, an eye-popping statistic that ensured he rapidly caught and overtook Robertson’s historic benchmark, which had stood since 1974 and was once widely regarded as unbeatable.

“Normally I don’t like to pat myself on the back, but tonight I will,” Westbrook said afterwards. “I am just so grateful for those that came before me.”

The 32-year-old Westbrook now has several seasons left in his career to extend his record, with few of his contemporaries anywhere near his total.

Westbrook has nearly twice as many triple-doubles as his nearest rival among currently active players. 

After Westbrook with 182, LeBron James is in second spot with 99 triples, while James Harden is third with 58.

Only two other players after Westbrook and Robertson have scored 100 or more triples on the all-time rankings, with Earvin “Magic” Johnson third with 138 and Jason Kidd fourth with 107.

“It’s just a blessing…You put so much into the game,” Westbrook said. 

“Just to be mentioned with guys like Oscar, Magic, Jason Kidd, those guys. It’s just something I would never have dreamt about.”

Wizards coach Scott Brooks described Westbrook’s achievement as “phenomenal.”

“It’s great for him,” Brooks said. “You can’t take anything away from him. 

“The guy’s a winner. He’s making the basketball and the non-basketball world a better place. Not a lot of guys can do that, not a lot of guys have the impact that he has, on and off the court.”

Johnson, meanwhile, had paid tribute to Westbrook’s record-breaking career prior to Monday’s game, saying the Wizards ace didn’t always get the credit he deserved.

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Written by Tempo Desk

Tempo 11 May 2021, Tuesday issue

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