Westbrook kept waiting as Thunder down Grizzlies

Westbrook now has 78 career triple-doubles, matching Wilt Chamberlain for fourth on the all-time list. At the first stoppage of play, the referee held the ball to allow for the team's public address announcer to make an announcement about the historical moment, as Westbrook acknowledged the crowd with a wave.

Memphis was without starting point guard and leading scorer Mike Conley, who suffered a gash over his eye Tuesday night in San Antonio.

"I was in shock, honestly", Westbrook said. "Just kind of sitting there, embracing the moment", Westbrook said of the stoppage.

"It's something that I could never dream about growing up in the inner city of Los Angeles", he said.

Robertson set the record during the 1961/62 season and Westbrook can break it on Wednesday (Thursday AEST) in Memphis.

His latest triple-double came on a night of achievements for him. Westbrook saw his streak of seven straight triple-doubles snapped.

"To be able to be on this stage with this group of guys, it's unbelievable and a blessing". We have the best fans in the world. "Fantastic people, team- mates, coaching staff". Robertson is also the only player to have ever averaged a triple-double for the season. He was good enough that he had Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale holding onto the only thing he could - that they didn't give up the record-breaking triple-double.

The win moved the defending champions into a tie with the Boston Celtics atop the Eastern Conference before the two teams meet on Wednesday night.

"You can feel that in the building", Kidd said, "and you could see that his teammates were not going to let him down tonight". He clinched his seventh straight triple-double on an assist to Taj Gibson with 9:17 left in the third quarter. Westbrook needs six assists in the Thunder's remaining four games to average a triple-double for the season. Marc Gasol (23-5-5-4-2) and Zach Randolph out-muscled the Thunder in the paint, with Steven Adams and Enes Kanter frequently frustrated.

The Thunder forward took advantage of a free Monday and jetted to Arizona, arriving at University of Phoenix Stadium just in time for the NCAA Tournament championship game.

By halftime, Westbrook was just two rebounds and two dimes shy of history; he already had 12 points despite missing five of his nine attempts, and the Thunder were up big on the Bucks, 63-39. 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. "Leadership to me was more important than averaging points or field goal percentage or whatever, because I think that's what gets us the farthest and helps us win a championship".

  • Julie Sanders