00:0601:24Oklahoma City ThunderRussell Westbrookswears he doesn’t care about triple-doubles. But even basketball’s king of single-game, arbitrary statistical thresholds should admit that his latest accomplishment is pretty, pretty impressive given historical context.
The former MVP recorded his ninth straight triple-double in a thrilling 117-112 win over the Houston Rockets on Saturday night, tying a record originally set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1967-68.
Russell Westbrook has recorded his ninth consecutive triple-double, tying the NBA record set by Wilt Chamberlain in March 1968. #ThunderUp
— Justin Kubatko (@jkubatko) February 10, 2019
Westbrook had his 22nd triple-double of the season with six minutes and 15 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. He finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists – plus 10 turnovers; a quadruple-double! But even those stellar numbers don’t do his real impact justice. After James Harden put the Rockets up 112-111 with a running floater as the game clock read 32 seconds, Westbrook put the Thunder ahead for good with a driving finish of his own, then on the other end forced his former teammate and fellow MVP into a difficult 27-footer that caromed off the rim.
Paul George was absolutely brilliant for Oklahoma City yet again, making his MVP case to a national audience with 45 points and 11 rebounds on 12-of-22 from the field, 6-of-14 from three-point range, and 15-of-18 from the free-throw line. Harden was no slouch, scoring 45 points on 28 shot attempts, but had just two rebounds, one assist, and five turnovers, frustrated by the Thunder’s length, activity, and versatility on defense.
Oklahoma City moves to 37-19 with the win, its 10 in the last 11 games, moving within a game of the Denver Nuggets for second-place in the Western Conference – which Westbrook, rightfully so, probably cares far more about than etching his name in the triple-double record books yet again.