Oklahoma City Thunder

Russell Westbrook Ties Michael Jordan for Most Triple-Doubles in Calendar Month

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots in front of San Antonio Spurs center Boban Marjanovic, left, in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Saturday, March 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press
Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2016

The Oklahoma City Thunder handled the Toronto Raptors on Monday, 119-100, and superstar Russell Westbrook joined some impressive company in the process.

According to Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN Stats & Info), Westbrook tied Michael Jordan as the only player in NBA history to notch seven triple-doubles in a single month:

Westbrook posted 26 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds in the victory over Toronto at Air Canada Centre.

Westbrook has scored in double figures and tallied at least five assists in every game he's played in March. Here is a look at his seven triple-doubles, five of which came against teams that would be in the playoffs if they started Monday:

Russell Westbrook's Triple-Doubles in March
DateOpponentPointsAssistsRebounds
March 6Milwaukee Bucks151110
March 9Los Angeles Clippers251911
March 14Portland Trail Blazers171610
March 18Philadelphia 76ers201015
March 19Indiana Pacers141411
March 22Houston Rockets211512
March 28Toronto Raptors261211
ESPN.com

Given how frequently Westbrook is putting up triple-doubles, he was asked if the accomplishment still had any special meaning. He responded, "It's something I never take for granted, but I like winning," per Royce Young of ESPN.com. 

The five-time All-Star is occasionally overshadowed by Kevin Durant, but his recent stretch is reminiscent of what fans saw at the end of the 2014-15 campaign. He put the Thunder on his back in the stretch run with Durant out (foot) and finished the year with 28.1 points, 8.6 assists and 7.3 rebounds per game as an MVP candidate.

While his scoring is down this year with Durant healthy and taking more of the shots, Westbrook is averaging career highs in assists and rebounds. As of Monday, he was posting 23.7 points, 10.4 dimes and 7.7 boards per game in 2015-16..

Westbrook is making headlines for his triple-double prowess, but this season is all about the chase for a championship for the Thunder. Durant and Westbrook are still ringless, though they reached the 2012 NBA Finals, where they eventually lost to LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

Many thought that was the beginning of what would be a long stretch of postseason success for the young Thunder, but then-teammate James Harden is now on the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City has not reached the Finals since.

The good news for Oklahoma City fans is the fact Monday was the team's eighth straight win. It seems to be peaking at the right time with the postseason rapidly approaching, and Westbrook is playing incredible basketball as the squad's engine. 

With Durant and Westbrook, the red-hot Thunder will arguably always have two of the best three players on the floor no matter which team they match up with in the postseasoneven if it is the Golden State Warriors or San Antonio Spurs.

Oklahoma City is essentially locked in as the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, with the Warriors at 66-7 and the Spurs at 62-12. That means the Thunder will likely have to play their way through both teams without home-court advantage in the conference semifinals and Western Conference Finals. Oklahoma City is 2-1 against the Spurs this year but 0-3 against the defending champions.

The only way the Thunder can realistically hope to beat both of those teams, which are undefeated at home, and get past a potential showdown with James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in a hypothetical NBA Finals matchup is if Westbrook and Durant both shine.

Westbrook looks like he is ready to do just that, given his historic triple-double run in March.

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