One of Basketball's Toughest Records Is About to Fall
- Author: Julie Sanders Apr 08, 2017,
Apr 08, 2017, 13:54
He scored 45 points, tying his career-high with eight 3-pointers, handed out 10 assists and pulled down nine rebounds in Oklahoma City's 103-100 win over Memphis on Wednesday night. At the first stoppage of play, the referee held the ball to allow for the team's public address announcer to trumpet the historic moment, as Westbrook acknowledged the crowd with a wave. Westbrook finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists in the contest as he tied Wilt Chamberlain (78) for the fourth-most career triple-doubles in National Basketball Association history.
Needless to say, the six-time All-Star is putting up MVP numbers - 31. Westbrook is trying to break the record for most triple doubles in a single season. "I heard it", Westbrook said.
"It's a special night I definitely won't ever forget", Westbrook said. "I am truly honoured to do it here in Oklahoma City". LeBron James had a huge game for the Cavaliers against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, and James Harden remains in the conversation.
A triple-double is the achievement of double-digit totals in three of the five key statistical categories - points, assists, rebounds, blocks and steals - and is regarded as a barometer of all-round versatility. "I think that's important, especially for us to get ready for the playoffs", Westbrook said. Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 10 points in the period, and Russell Westbrook had 9 for the Thunder.
He said he was also aware that he needed just one more rebound at the end to make the triple-double. In a game typical of what we have come to expect over the years, both teams clawed and scratched their way to the finish line, with the lead changing hands multiple times in the final minutes of play. He made some key baskets to push the game towards overtime and played lockdown defense on MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard.
Klay Thompson poured in 41 points for the Warriors, who won their 12th straight game. A Vince Carter three came up short, and Russell Westbrook buried a three to give them a 4 point lead with 14 seconds left. The Grizzlies' Andrew Harrison attempted a 3-pointer after just missing one, and if he missed again then Westbrook would have been there to get the rebound.
Elsewhere in the West, the Portland Trail Blazers were left clinging to a half-game lead over the Denver Nuggets for the eighth and final playoff seed after they were dominated 106-87 by the Utah Jazz. I hate the narrative where players don't need rest or they shouldn't rest if given the opportunity, but Russell Westbrook has played every game this season.
The next stop on Westbrook's road show is Phoenix Friday night when the Thunder face the Suns.
Westbrook continued inching closer to the record, and his 15 points in the third, helped Oklahoma City carry a 79-74 lead into the fourth.