Basketball

Westbrook gets his Oscar

Thunder star's 41st triple-double ties Robertson's record; can set a new high against Memphis this morning

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER MILWAUKEE BUCKS
110 79

Shortly after Russell Westbrook recorded his 10th assist yesterday morning (Singapore time), the game was stopped.

The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard walked over to his bench to get some water.

Westbrook just earned his 41st triple-double to tie Hall-of-Famer Oscar Robertson's record for the most number of triple-doubles in a season.

The fans at Chesapeake Energy Arena began to shout "MVP" during the stoppage.

Even the stoic Westbrook couldn't help but describe what the moment meant to him after Oklahoma City's 110-79 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

"I was in shock, honestly. Kind of just sitting there and embracing the moment," Westbrook said.

"I didn't realise they were stopping it for me until the ref was throwing the ball.

"But I was just sitting there thanking God for the opportunity to play. The opportunity to play is something I'll never take for granted."

Westbrook tied the record set by Robertson in the 1961-62 season by totalling 12 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists.

I was in shock, honestly. Kind of just sitting there and embracing the moment. Russell Westbrook on tying Oscar Robertson's record for triple-doubles in a season

He can break the record against the Memphis Grizzlies this morning after playing just 27 minutes against Milwaukee.

Westbrook's latest triple-double came on a night of achievements for him.

He tied a career high with his seventh straight triple-double and needs two more to tie the mark for consecutive triple-doubles set by Hall-of-Famer Wilt Chamberlain in March 1968.

"It's unbelievable," Westbrook said. "It's an honour, (a) blessing, especially to be able to reach that here at home.

"We have the best fans in the world. Amazing people, teammates, coaching staff. I give thanks to the man above.

"I want to compete at a high level and I'm thankful to be able to do that."

The Thunder All-Star also tied Chamberlain for fourth all-time with his 78th triple-double. He is 29 behind Bucks coach Jason Kidd for third place.

"With Russ' ability to tie the record or to break the record, whatever he's done, it's at a very high level with the triple-doubles," Kidd said.

"And you can feel that in the building and you could see that his teammates were not going to let him down tonight."

Westbrook recorded his triple-double with 9:17 left in the third quarter when he handed out his 10th assist, to Taj Gibson.

"It was one of those nights, a special night," Westbrook said. "Something I'll definitely never forget. I am truly honoured to do it here in Oklahoma City."

Oklahoma City (44-33) led by 30 points after three quarters, and Westbrook didn't play in the fourth.

Westbrook needs only 16 assists in the next five games to clinch averaging a triple-double on the season, a mark only Robertson accomplished over a full season.

Oklahoma City improved to 32-9 this season when Westbrook gets a triple-double. 
- REUTERS

OTHER RESULTS

  • Golden State 121 Minnesota 107, Sacramento 98 Dallas 87, Utah 106 Portland 87, San Antonio 95 Memphis 89 (OT), New Orleans 131 Denver 134, NY Knicks 100 Chicago 91, Philadelphia 118 Brooklyn 141, Washington 118 Charlotte 111, Cleveland 122 Orlando 102, Indiana 108 Toronto 90.
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