In Friday night’s 113-110 overtime win against the Phoenix Suns, Russell Westbrook posted yet another ridiculous stat line for the Oklahoma City Thunder, something which is becoming more of a common occurrence.
After a subdued 12 points in the first half, Westbrook exploded in the second half and overtime to finish with 51 points, 13 rebounds and ten assists.
He becomes the first player to record a 50-point triple double since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975 and just the fifth player in NBA history to do so, after Elgin Baylor (x2), Richie Guerin, Wilt Chamberlain (x2) and Kareem.
It is yet another ridiculous statistic provided by Westbrook as he seizes control of the Oklahoma City Thunder following Kevin Durant’s summer exit from the franchise.
When speaking with the media after the game, Westbrook was asked about how he felt about his spectacular performance. His response? “Hungry.”
A player clearly desperate for more, Westbrook is sending out a strong message to the rest of the NBA with his approach to the new campaign as he seeks to become the league’s best player.
He must also surely know that there are a number of triple-double records on the horizon if he can continue at this pace, something he has shown at different points during the past two years.
In the 82 games last season, Westbrook had the eighth most triple-doubles of all time, 18, and with his usage rate only set to increase this season without Durant there will surely be many more to come.
Could Westbrook now even become only the second player, alongside Oscar Robertson in the 1961-62 season, to average a triple-double for the entire year?
With Russ currently averaging 41.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists it is certainly not out of the question, as Westbrook has begun his MVP charge in dominant fashion.