Hoops, he did it again: Westbrook reaches 100 triple-doubles

LOS ANGELES • Russell Westbrook, who is synonymous with triple-doubles, deepened his link with the statistic when he became the fourth man to join the century club after Oscar Robertson (181), Magic Johnson (138) and Jason Kidd (107).

He had 32 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists to help the Oklahoma City Thunder close in on a play-off berth with a 119-107 defeat of the Atlanta Hawks in the National Basketball Association (NBA) on Tuesday.

Last year, he claimed Robertson's single-season record with 42 en route to becoming the second man after the legend to average a triple-double to earn himself the Most Valuable Player award. He had also set the record for most points in a triple-double, 57, but James Harden of Houston topped that mark with 60 in January.

In a post-game interview, Westbrook played down his latest achievement, saying: "The group of guys that's ahead are Hall of Famers. I'm just happy to be a part of the crew with those guys."

He added: "It's a blessing man, I give all thanks to the man above for the ability to play basketball.

"It's always crazy, man, to go on the road and just see, not just fans cheering, but just see kids in my jersey, because I never, ever imagined me playing in the league... I never take it for granted.

"I'm just thankful to be able to do it here in Oklahoma City with my team-mates, happy to be able to accomplish something like that."

Russell Westbrook yells in delight after dunking over Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince. The Oklahoma City point guard's 100th career triple-double helped his team close in on a play-off berth with a 119-107 victory. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Thunder coach Billy Donovan was effusive in his praise of the 29-year-old, saying: "It's incredible. I've always said this: He's one of the rare guys in this league.

"Certain guys in the league have to do something to impact the game. He doesn't have to take a shot to impact the game, and that speaks to his greatness.

"The fact that this is the 100th triple-double and he's a point guard, speaks to (the fact that) his fingerprints are all over the game. It's really a heck of a milestone and an incredible accomplishment."

Carmelo Anthony added 21 points and Jerami Grant contributed 20 off the bench as the Thunder improved to 41-29. They are fourth in the Western Conference standings, two wins ahead of the fifth-placed New Orleans Pelicans.

The Hawks dropped to 20-48.

Barring a major collapse, the Thunder will take their spot in the post-season.



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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2018, with the headline 'Hoops, he did it again: Westbrook reaches 100 triple-doubles'. Subscribe