An NBA record that stood untouched for more than 50 years has been broken.
Russell Westbrook picked up his 42nd triple-double in the fourth quarter of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s matchup against Denver Nuggets on Sunday. He moved ahead of Oscar Robertson’s mark of 41 to secure the most triple-doubles in a single season in NBA history.
Westbrook notched his 10th assist in the fourth quarter, when he found Semaj Christon for a corner triple to cut Denver’s lead to 10 with under 4:20 remaining. He entered halftime with 23 points and 12 rebounds.
Westbrook was two assists shy of breaking the record on Friday against the Suns, but Phoenix opted to intentionally foul Westbrook late in the fourth quarter, prompting the Thunder guard to check himself out of the game.
The record was once considered unattainable.
It was the 1961-62 season when Robertson recorded 41 triple-doubles with the Cincinnati Royals. He became the first player to average a triple-double for a year —30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 11.4 assists per game — etching himself into NBA history with one of the most productive seasons the league has ever seen.
No one came close to his mark for 55 years.
Wilt Chamberlain picked up 31 triple-doubles in the 1967-68 season. Robertson had 20 or more triple-doubles four times before hitting his mark of 41. James Harden has 20 with the Rockets this season. Not even LeBron James or Magic Johnson have reached that mark in a season.
His accomplishment adds onto an already historic season.
Westbrook picked up assist No. 820 in the Thunder’s loss to the Suns on Friday, securing his average of 10 assists per game on the season. In doing so, he joined Robertson as the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire season. The Thunder guard also joined The Big O and Nate “Tiny” Archibald as the only players to average 30 points and 10 assists for a season.
Westbrook also scored 57 points on March 30, setting the record for most points scored while recording a triple-double in a game. He tied Michael Jordan’s mark of seven consecutive triple-doubles in a season, and his eight 40-point triple-doubles are the most in NBA history.
Taj Gibson questioned if Westbrook was human. It may be time we do the same.
Here are some of the best moments from Westbrook’s historic season.
When Russ made the Suns’ defense his own deck of cards (side note: watch Victor Oladipo rise off the bench in a full suit and start tap dancing)
Russell Westbrook is done playing basketball and has moved on to magic tricks https://t.co/uRQE84jWZt— Zito (@_Zeets) December 18, 2016
When Russ scored 16 fourth-quarter points before drilling this game-tying three-pointer against Orlando to force overtime
When Russ posterized DeMarcus Cousins
When Russ dunked on his own teammate
Russell Westbrook dunks on his on teammate lmaooo pic.twitter.com/ZUlKwRZcUs— NBA_Mixes (@NBA_Mixes) April 5, 2017
When Russ went coast-to-coast for a game-sealing bucket against the Jazz
When Russ went coast-to-coast to extend OKC’s lead over Sacramento to 25
When Russ and Kevin Durant finally got into the argument we wanted to see
When Russ broke up Semaj Christon and Stephen Curry’s fight ... so that he could fight Curry
And to think we’ve still got the playoffs left.