Russell Westbrook ties Magic Johnson for most triple-doubles in a single season in last 40 years

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Russell Westbrook recorded his league-leading 18th triple-double of the season on Monday and tied Hall of Famer Magic Johnson for the most in a single NBA campaign in the last 40 years.

What makes the achievement even more astounding is the fact that Westbrook managed it in the first half and fittingly against Magic's former team the L.A. Lakers.

Officially, it took the Thunder point guard just 17 minutes and 35 seconds to post the triple-double, which made it the quickest of his career and second-fastest in NBA history after Jim Tucker did it in 17 minutes in 1955, per ESPN's Royce Young

Westbrook ended the game with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists in OKC's 112-79 win. He's averaging a career-high 23.5 points, 10.4 assists and 7.8 rebounds, in any other year, these numbers would've put Westbrook firmly in the conversation for MVP honours, but the history being created by Steph Curry in Golden State has almost made everything else in the league irrelevant.

The game was Kobe Bryant's final road game in the NBA and his penultimate game before retirement and the 20-year veteran had extremely high praise for what Westbrook has managed to accomplish.

''I haven't seen anybody get triple-doubles as much as he has in a season,'' Bryant said. ''That's pretty outrageous, what he's been able to do all year long. It seems to fly under the radar with what Steph (Curry) is doing at Golden State and what they're doing as a team, but he's having a historical season. He's probably the most athletic player I've ever played against.''

When asked if he saw any similarities between himself and Westbrook, Bryant replied: "A ton. A ton. I didn't smile much around the court, either. He plays the game with such an energy, such an aggressiveness, it needs to be appreciated.

"He's not out there trying to be cute with the basketball. He's not out there trying to look fancy. This guy's playing hard every time down. It takes a lot of energy to be able to do that, and he just never seems to run out of it."

The five-time All-Star can break the record for the most in a single season since the NBA-ABA merger when the Thunder take on the San Antonio Spurs in the final game of the year on Wednesday.

With the third seed locked up and the playoffs just days away, though, head coach Billy Donovan may choose to sit Westbrook, but knowing the competitive nature of his game, it wouldn't be a surprise to anybody if the point guard wanted to go out and play.

However, Westbrook knows where the priorities lie and after his injury problems in the last few years, it is imperative he stays healthy for the road ahead. With him on this form, the Thunder will be dangerous opponents in the postseason and as things stand, they will meet the Spurs in the second round if both teams make it through their opening series in what will be a fascinating matchup.

Northwest Division
Western Conference
Russell Westbrook
Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant

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