Only three players in NBA history — Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson, and now, Russell Westbrook — have recorded a triple-double with a 30-20-10 stat line.
Westbrook etched his name into the record books twice last night by scoring 35 points, dishing 21 assists, and pulling down 14 rebounds. Only the Big O and Magic pulled off that rare feat with a 30-20-10 triple-double. The Washington Wizards defeated the Indiana Pacers 132-124 in a shootout, despite missing Bradley Beal (sore hip).
“Russ does things that I’ve never seen,” said Wizards coach Scott Brooks.
“Westbrook shot it well from the arc today, and obviously everywhere, and passed it well,” noted Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren. “It was just one of those days. We couldn’t slow him down.”
With his 16th triple-double of the season, Westbrook also took over the triple-double franchise record for the Washington Wizards.
As a member of the Washington Bullets in the late 1980s, Darrell Walker recorded a triple-double 15 times in 283 career-games in DC. It took only 38 games in one season before Westbrook snatched the franchise record for most triple-doubles.
With 16 triple-doubles, Westbrook leads the NBA this season. Westbrook was linked with the LA Clippers in a trade rumor, but the Wizards held onto RWB.
Mr. Triple-Double Westbrook
Westbrook averages 21.8 points, 10.5 assists, and 10.5 rebounds this season. He’s on pace to finish the season averaging a triple-double, which he’s achieved three other times. In his last three seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder between 2016 and 2019, Westbrook averaged a triple-double.
“He’s a winner, man,” added Brooks. “He fights. He’s not perfect, and a lot of times the geniuses want to look at the things that he doesn’t do well. But sometimes they forget about the other things that he does well.”
In 2016-17, Westbrook averaged 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists per game. He led the NBA in scoring that season and won the 2017 MVP.
During his triple-double seasons in OKC, Westbrook led the NBA in assists in 2018 and 2019.
“What Russell does for us goes beyond the stat sheet, and he fills the stat sheet like nobody ever has done in the history of this game,” said Brooks. “He’s gonna go down as one of the best point guards of all time.”
In 2019, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Westbrook to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Chris Paul and two first-round draft picks. In his one season in Houston, Westbrook saw his numbers drop off. His scoring increased to 27.2 ppg, but his rebounds (7.9) and assists (7.0) didn’t compare.
Houston traded Westbrook in the offseason for John Wall and one first-round draft pick. Westbrook was reunited with Brooks in Washington, who coached him with the OKC Thunder.
With the Wizards, Westbrook resumed his triple-double ways, and his rebounds and assists returned to double-digit levels.
On Deck: Charlotte, Detroit, Dallas
At 17-28, the Wizards sit in the #12 spot in the Eastern Conference. They could qualify for a play-in game if they can jump ahead to the #10 seed. As of today, the Chicago Bulls and newly-acquired Nikola Vucevic occupy the #10 spot, and hold a two-game lead over the Wiz.
The Wizards play the second of back-to-back home games when the Charlotte Hornets visit DC on Tuesday. They’re a +3.5 underdog and a home dog for the second night in a row. On Monday, Westbrook and the Wizards beat the Indiana Pacers outright as a +7 home dog.
The Wizards head to Detroit to play the last-place Pistons on Thursday. Over the weekend, the Wizards host Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.
Next week, the Wizards leave DC to play six games in nine days during a road trip to Florida and the West Coast. That trip might be the last real chance for the Wizards to make up ground on the Bulls.
The Wizards meet the slumping Toronto Raptors and the gutted Orlando Magic early next week. Then they fly out to the West Coast to play the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, and Sacramento Kings.
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