When Russell Westbrook recorded his 42nd triple-double of the season in the fourth quarter of the Thunder’s matchup against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, there was still one problem: His team was down 10 with time quickly fleeting.
But with the NBA record now under his belt, the All-Star guard got back to doing what he knew best — competing to win. For his efforts, he officially eliminated the Nuggets from the playoffs and took home the NBA’s Game-Winner Of The Year at the NBA Awards Show.
Westbrook capped off a late-game comeback effort with a buzzer-beating three-pointer to down the Nuggets, 106-105, on Sunday. The shot notched his 50th points of the night and put Denver two games behind the No. 8 Portland Trail Blazers with two games to play.
In all, Westbrook finished with 50 points on 17-of-32 shooting, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists to just two turnovers. He scored 18 of Oklahoma City’s final 21 points, assisting on the Semaj Christon corner triple that broke Oscar Robertson’s record of 41 triple doubles in a season.
Westbrook put the exclamation point on a historic season the likes of which the league hasn’t seen in over 50 years. If that’s not enough to warrant some serious MVP consideration, I don’t know what is.