Westbrook rustles up record

Thunder guard produces the highest-scoring triple-double in NBA annals to spark victory

ORLANDO • Russell Westbrook keeps making the spectacular look so easy this season.

He recorded the highest-scoring triple-double in National Basketball Association (NBA) history on Wednesday, totalling 57 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a come-from-behind, 114-106 overtime victory over the Orlando Magic at the Amway Centre.

For the guard, it was just another day at work as he compiled his fourth consecutive triple-double and his 38th of the season, leaving him three shy of the NBA record held by NBA legend Oscar Robertson.

The 57-point tally was one short of his career-high score.

"You just got to want it more than other people," said Westbrook, who last week became the first player in NBA history to achieve a triple-double with perfect shooting from the court and free-throw line.

"I don't think about getting tired. I just keep going and going. I just think about making the next play, making winning basketball plays."

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    Russell Westbrook joins Houston Rockets star James Harden as the only players in NBA history with multiple 50-point triple-doubles in a single season.

He helped the Thunder (43-31), winners in eight of their last 10 games, secure a play-off berth on Wednesday.

Westbrook produced a devastating late burst of scoring with 19 points in the final six minutes of regulation time, draining a three-pointer with seven seconds left to send the game into overtime.

Until then, the Magic had led the entire second half and by as many as 21 points in the third quarter.

Victor Oladipo hit a three-pointer early in the extra period for the 107-105 lead and the Thunder never lost the lead after that.

Westbrook scored seven points in overtime.

"I was just looking at the scoreboard, taking it one possession at a time," said the Most Valuable Player (MVP) candidate. "I don't take this game for granted. I just try to come out each and every night and compete at a high level."

He hit 21 of 40 shots and six of 15 three-pointers. He made nine of 11 free throws and drew loud chants of "MVP, MVP" by Magic fans after an electrifying, Most Valuable Player performance.

"He's a helluva player. He's been doing that for 70 games now, carrying that team every night," Nikola Vucevic, who had 11 points and 16 rebounds for Orlando, said of Westbrook. "The numbers he's putting up are amazing. You tip your hat when he does stuff like that."

Evan Fournier led the Magic (27-48) with 24 points.

Magic coach Frank Vogel said: "That (Westbrook's performance) was one of the best. It's tough to rank those over the years, but it's right up there with the best. Give him credit."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2017, with the headline 'Westbrook rustles up record'. Print Edition | Subscribe