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:
With his triple-double tonight, Russell Westbrook equals Michael Jordan for most such games in a calendar month pic.twitter.com/htd1ypOyxC— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 29, 2016
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:
|March 6||Milwaukee Bucks||15||11||10|
|March 9||Los Angeles Clippers||25||19||11|
|March 14||Portland Trail Blazers||17||16||10|
|March 18||Philadelphia 76ers||20||10||15|
|March 19||Indiana Pacers||14||14||11|
|March 22||Houston Rockets||21||15||12|
|March 28||Toronto Raptors||26||12||11|
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 postseason—even 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.