Westbrook named conference player of the week

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook broke Oscar Robertson's record for triple doubles in a season with 42 after a spectacular 50-point, 16-rebound and 10-assist performance on Sunday against the Denver Nuggets.

After watching Damian Lillard have one of the most impressive games of the season and will the Portland Trail Blazers to victory on Saturday night by scoring 59 points.

Westbrook's individual numbers are the most eye-popping in the league, but the Thunder have 46 wins and are locked into the sixth seed in the Western Conference, while Harden's Rockets have 54 wins and will be the No. 3 seed.

It was yet another remarkable display of the all-around excellence that a triple-double - the achievement of double-digit totals in three of five key statistical categories - has come to represent. Three teammates had failed to connect after passes from Westbrook when he found Simaj Christon in the corner and handed off to him for a three-pointer.

Westbrook's averages are similar to mine in both scoring and assists (a point higher in scoring, a digit lower in assists). For the Denver Nuggets, the rules were simple: lose the game and the season is over, win and give yourself another chance to make the postseason.

"It's wonderful", Westbrook said after the game. He's more than a great basketball player at this point.

But James fouled out with less than two minutes remaining in overtime, a call that left him fuming that the his brush with Millsap as they battled for rebounding position shouldn't have been a foul. Denver held a 91-81 lead after three periods.

"It's a huge accomplishment", Harden said of Westbrook. Muscala scored all 12 of his in the fourth quarter and overtime. Harden is not trying to take anything away from his friend.

He's also matched another 55-year-old record of mine by becoming only the second guard to lead his team in rebounding. "He's the MVP in my opinion". Robertson, however, believes Westbrook is the clear MVP and recently told USA TODAY Sports that Westbrook is "the triple-double king". Six Houston players scored in double figures. This time, most likely without Russell Westbrook.

  • Julie Sanders