Russell Westbrook has officially matched Oscar Robertson.
The Washington Wizards star officially recorded his 181st career triple-double on Saturday night, tying Robertson for the most in NBA history.
Westbrook hit the mark late in the third quarter in their 133-132 overtime win against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. He had 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists at halftime, and got the last assist he needed after dishing a pass to Bradley Beal for a bucket.
“I’m proud of him. I love coaching him,” coach Scott Brooks said, via The Athletic’s Fred Katz. “I coach him harder than probably a lot of people realize … and he will call me and coach me at times.’
Westbrook has at least 4 more games to break record
Westbrook has been putting up triple-doubles at an outrageous pace in recent weeks. The 32-year-old has recorded a triple-double in Washington’s last four games, and finished with one in 15 of the Wizards’ 17 games in April.
He was averaging 21.8 points, 11.4 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game heading into Saturday’s contest, and will finish the season averaging a triple-double for the fourth time in his career. He was the first person to pull that feat off since Robertson when he first did so in 2016-17 with the Oklahoma City Thunder, too.
Robertson, 82, played in the league from 1960-74 and finished with 181 triple-doubles in his 14 seasons. The Hall of Famer was thrilled to know that Westbrook was approaching his mark this week, too.
“There’s no doubt about it,” he said, via The New York Times. “I hope he gets it … I totally enjoy the way Westbrook plays. He’s a dynamic individual.
“They’ve moved him around to different teams and I don’t know why, because I think he’s one of the star guards in basketball.”
Magic Johnson is currently third on the all-time triple-double list at 138, and Jason Kidd is fourth at 107. LeBron James is fifth on the list, the closest active player to Westbrook, but he only has 99. James Harden and Nikola Jokic are the only other active players in the top-10.
“You grew up thinking that record would never be touched,” Brooks said, via The Athletic’s Fred Katz.
Westbrook now has four more chances for a final triple-double in the regular season to move into first place on the list by himself, starting with a pair of games against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday and Wednesday. The Wizards will then close out the regular season against the Cavaliers and the Hornets next week at home. They moved ahead of the Pacers slightly in the Eastern Conference standings, too, and are likely going to earn one of the last spots in the postseason play-in tournament.
At the rate he’s been going, one more triple-double shouldn’t be an issue.
Bradley Beal drops 50 in win
It wasn’t just Westbrook who had a huge night in Indianapolis.
Bradley Beal was equally as impressive with 50 points and five rebounds while shooting 19-of-31 from the field.
It marked the fifth 50-point game in his career, the most in Wizards history. He joined Stephen Curry and Jayson Tatum as the only other players in the league with multiple 50-point games this season.
Beal left the game ahead of the final play, however, due to a hamstring injury he sustained earlier in the quarter. He didn’t play in overtime, either.
Beal was averaging a career-high 31.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game this season headed into Saturday night.
Westbrook finished the night with 33 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists while shooting 11-of-26 from the field. After leading the Wizards out of a 12-point hole in the fourth quarter, Westbrook then drew a foul and hit a pair of free throws to put them back up with just one second left and blocked a final shot attempt from Caris LeVert to seal the win.
Domantas Sabonis led the Pacers with a triple-double of his own, finishing with 30 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists. LeVert finished with 35 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists.
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