Westbrook writes history
Russell Westbrook of the Washington Wizards drives to the basket against the Atlanta Hawks Monday at the State Farm Arena.

Westbrook writes history

(Agence France-Presse) - May 12, 2021 - 12:00am

Atlanta, Georgia – Russell Westbrook wrote his way into NBA history on Monday, bagging the 182nd triple-double of his career to break Oscar Robertson’s 47-year-old record.

Washington Wizards star Westbrook, who had equaled Robertson’s record of 181 triples on Saturday, sealed his record-breaking triple with eight minutes 33 seconds remaining in Monday’s 125-124 defeat to the Atlanta Hawks.

Westbrook’s 36th triple-double of the season included 28 points, 21 assists and 13 rebounds. He is already assured of averaging a triple-double per game this season.

A triple-double occurs when a player makes double-digit tallies in three of the five major statistical categories in a game -- points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks.

Westbrook has averaged a triple-double per game in four of the last five seasons, an eye-popping statistic that ensured he rapidly caught and overtook Robertson’s historic benchmark, which had stood since 1974 and was once widely regarded as unbeatable.

“Normally I don’t like to pat myself on the back, but tonight I will,” Westbrook said afterwards. “I am just so grateful for those that came before me.”

The 32-year-old Westbrook now has several seasons left in his career to extend his record, with few of his contemporaries anywhere near his total.

Westbrook has nearly twice as many triple-doubles as his nearest rival among currently active players.

After Westbrook with 182, LeBron James is in second spot with 99 triples while James Harden is third with 58.

Only two other players after Westbrook and Robertson have scored 100 or more triples on the all-time rankings, with Earvin “Magic” Johnson third with 138 and Jason Kidd fourth with 107.

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