Russell Westbrook gets enough assists to clinch triple-double average for season

However, in this space we are not going to try and compare the top candidates against one another to determine who should win this year's award.

By eclipsing six assists in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 120-99 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Friday, Westbrook locked in a triple-double average for the season, joining Oscar Robertson as the only other player in National Basketball Association history to accomplish the ultra rare holy trinity.

Westbrook got off to possibly his worst start of the season in Phoenix.

At 34.8 minutes a night, 15 players, on average, spend more time on the floor than Westbrook. It will be very exciting if those three play well during what amounts to a playoff game against a hard opponent. Westbrook quickly waved in acknowledgement, then drove for a layup seconds after play ensued. Russell Westbrook is averaging 31.7 points and 10.4 assists while Victor Oladipo is averaging 16.1 points and 4.3 rebounds.

The Thunder face the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday, and play its regular season finale against the Nuggets again on Wednesday.

"You could never say in a million years that I would ever think that was even possible", Westbrook said Friday after clinching the triple-double average for the season.

There has been a remarkable triple-double boom - the previous National Basketball Association record of 78 leaguewide in a single season has been shattered - and there doesn't seem to be a great explanation as to why. "And he did the rest, which was awesome".

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook. The Oklahoma City Thunder have won five of their last seven road games.

However, whereas Westbrook's Thunder sit in sixth place in the Western Conference, Harden's Rockets sit in third.

Booker went berserk in the fourth quarter with 21 points, posting an outrageous 86.4 usage rate with a 82.3 true shooting percentage in those 7.7 minutes.

Westbrook's accomplishment brought families, Thunder staff and fans from thousands of miles away to the desert to see an oasis, an event that's happened once in a lifetime. He turns the ball over only three percent on isos.

According to ESPN, the Thunder point guard has played almost 10 fewer minutes and around 25 fewer possessions per game less than Robertson did during his record-setting season. He is also tied for first in three-pointers attempted (56), tied for second in three-pointers made (18), fifth in free throws made (63), fifth in free throws attempted (74), fifth in rebounds (52), fourth in assists (28) and tied for second in steals (11).

That score put the Suns back up 19 points on the Thunder, thwarting any attempt at a comeback.

These facts above only exemplify the greatness of Westbrook. This is significant since the game tends to slow down in clutch situations and efficiency, for the most part, tends to decrease as well.

So it's no surprise to see Bryant come to Russell Westbrook's defense.

Thunder: F Doug McDermott was a late scratch with a sore left knee.

"The thing that I think is really great for our team, and the thing that any coach wants from his team, is to have a never-say-die attitude and to work and to be relentless and passionate and to play all the way to the final buzzer", Thunder head coach Billy Donovan said recently. The associated moneylines for this game are Denver -190 and Oklahoma City +165. "The great ones, they love to play".

Yet, this season has not only shined a light on Robertson's excellence in his prime, but continually given him a positive platform to exhibit humility as Westbrook's raced to match his record. My main goal since I got here, especially this season, is to win a championship. "He was wide open, trying to find guys".

  • Julie Sanders