Westbrook matches Jordan's feat

Russell Westbrook became the first player since Michael Jordan in 1989 to notch five straight triple-doubles in the National Basketball Association.
Russell Westbrook became the first player since Michael Jordan in 1989 to notch five straight triple-doubles in the National Basketball Association.PHOTO: AFP

OKLAHOMA CITY • Russell Westbrook became the first player since Michael Jordan in 1989 to notch five straight triple-doubles in the National Basketball Association (NBA), his latest on Sunday powering Oklahoma City to a 101-92 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

He scored 28 points, pulled down 17 rebounds and handed out 12 assists for his 10th triple-double of the season and his fifth in a row.

Westbrook's streak is the longest since Jordan posted seven straight in 1989.

"It's just a blessing," the 28-year-old point guard said.

"I'm very, very blessed to be able to play the game I love. Like I've said before, I never take it for granted. Every time I step on the floor, I'm blessed beyond belief."

  • MOST CONSECUTIVE TRIPLE-DOUBLES

  • 9

    • Wilt Chamberlain (1968)

    7

    • Michael Jordan (1989)

    • Oscar Robertson (1961)

    5

    • Robertson (1961)

    • Robertson (1962)

    • Chamberlain (1968)

    • Russell Westbrook (current)

    Source: NBA

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said before the game that in his opinion, Westbrook is "the best athlete in the NBA".

"It's fun watching him play against everybody else," Gentry said.

Thunder centre Enes Kanter recorded 17 points and 10 rebounds. Victor Oladipo added 15 points for Oklahoma City (13-8), who withstood 37 points and 15 rebounds from Pelicans star Anthony Davis.

Rookie Buddy Hield broke out of a slump with 16 points, all in the second half, for the Pelicans (7-14), who trailed by as many as 15 but cut the lead to seven points with three minutes remaining.

Davis had a chance to trim the deficit to five, but he missed back-to-back shots on the same possession.

Westbrook then produced a fast- break finger roll to stretch the edge back to 93-84 with 2min 39sec to play. His three-pointer in the final minute put the game away.

"I don't think I have any words to describe him," Kanter said of Westbrook.

Gentry added that the Pelicans did about all they could do.

"I thought we did about as good of a job on Russell in the first half as you can do," he said.

"That being said, the guy still ends up with 17 rebounds, 12 assists, 28 points or whatever it is."

Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan was delighted with Westbrook's performance, but he also put emphasis on the importance of humility.

"He's creating a norm for himself," Donovan said.

"And I think in creating that norm what you don't want to do is take it for granted."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 06, 2016, with the headline 'Westbrook matches Jordan's feat'. Print Edition | Subscribe