Russell Westbrook officially equaled 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 target late in the third quarter in their 133-132 overtime win over 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 dealing an assist to Bradley Beal for a bucket.
“I’m proud of him. I love coaching him,” said coach Scott Brooks, via Athletic’s Fred Katz. “I train him harder than a lot of people probably think … and he will call me and train me sometimes.”
Westbrook has at least 4 more games to break the record
Westbrook has been building up triple-doubles at an outrageous rate 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 averaged 21.8 points, 11.4 rebounds and 11.4 assists per game heading into Saturday’s game, and will end the season with a triple-double on average for the fourth time in his career. He was also the first person to pull off this feat since Robertson when he first did it in 2016-17 with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Robertson, 82, played in the league from 1960 to 1974 and finished with 181 triple-doubles in 14 seasons. The Hall of Fame was delighted to know that Westbrook was also approaching its target this week.
“There is no doubt about it,” he said, via The New York Times. “I hope he understands… I totally appreciate the way Westbrook is playing. He is a dynamic individual.
“They transferred him to different teams and I don’t know why, because I think he’s one of the star goaltenders in basketball.”
Magic Johnson is currently third on the all-time triple-double roster at 138, and Jason Kidd is fourth at 107. LeBron James is fifth on the roster, the closest active player to Westbrook, but he only has one. 99. James Harden and Nikola Jokic are the only other active players in the top 10.
Westbrook now has four more chances for a final triple-double in the regular season to climb to the top spot on their own, starting with two games against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday and Wednesday. The Wizards will then close the regular season against the Cavaliers and Hornets next week at home. They’re also slightly ahead of the Pacers in the Eastern Conference standings and will likely win one of the last places in the postseason play-in tournament.
At the rate he’s playing, another triple-double shouldn’t be a problem.
Bradley Beal loses 50 wins
It wasn’t just Westbrook that had a huge night in Indianapolis.
Bradley Beal was equally impressive with 50 points and five rebounds as he shot 19 of 31 from the field.
It was the fifth 50-point game of his career, the biggest 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 game, however, due to a hamstring injury he sustained earlier in the quarter. He also did not play in overtime.
Beal was averaging 31.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game this season heading 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 fouled and hit a pair of free throws to put them back in place with just a second to go and blocked a final shot attempt. of Caris LeVert to seal win.
Domantas Sabonis led the Pacers with a triple-double on 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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