Russell Westbrook is closing in on a third straight season averaging a triple-double. Yet somehow he might have accomplished even more impressive triple-double history on Tuesday night.
Westbrook, in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 119-103 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, recorded an absurd triple-double of 20 points, 20 rebounds and 21 assists. He’s just the second NBA player to accomplish the 20-20-20 feat.
The legendary Wilt Chamberlain did it in a 1968 game while playing for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Tuesday’s historic outing was the eighth 15-15-15 game of Westbrook’s career – tying him with Chamberlain for the second-most of such games in league history – and pulled him within three assists of securing a triple-double average for the season again.
“Overwhelming. It’s unbelievable to go out and — humbled, grateful to have played the game. But that wasn’t for me, man,” Westbrook said on the broadcast postgame.
The Southern California native dedicated his performance to the late Nipsey Hussle, the Los Angeles rapper and activist who was shot and killed Sunday.
“That was for my bro, man, that’s for Nipsey, man. Twenty plus twenty plus twenty, they know what that means. That’s for my bro. Rest in peace, Nipsey,” Westbrook said.
Westbrook entered Tuesday night averaging 23 points, 11 rebounds and a league-leading 10.4 assists. In his MVP-winning season in 2016-17, Westbrook became the first player in the NBA to average a triple-double for the season since Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson did it in 1961-62. He followed that season, which saw him lead the league in scoring at 31.6 points per game, with another triple-double average last year that saw him lead in assists.
While just 30 years old, the longtime Thunder star is already third in NBA history with 135 career triple-doubles. His 31st triple-double of this season, however, might have been his best yet.
Contributing: Associated Press