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Russell Westbrook Ties Oscar Robertson's Record for Most Career Triple-Doubles

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2021

Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) dribbles the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Monday, April 26, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Nobody in NBA history has tallied more triple-doubles than Russell Westbrook.

The Washington Wizards guard tied Oscar Robertson's record of 181 career triple-doubles Saturday night against the Indiana Pacers. He hit the mark in the third quarter with an assist on a Bradley Beal jumper. 

Westbrook finished the game with 33 points, 19 rebounds and 15 assists. He also made two free throws with one second remaining in overtime to give the Wizards a crucial 133-132 win. They moved one-half game ahead of Indiana for the No. 9 seed in the Eastern Conference standings. 

This isn't the first time Westbrook has been mentioned alongside Robertson when it comes to triple-doubles.

The UCLA product became the first player since the Hall of Famer to average a triple-double for an entire season when he was a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder and did so three straight years from 2016-17 through 2018-19.

While he fell short of extending that streak to four last season on the Houston Rockets, he is again on pace to accomplish the feat this year with averages of 21.8 points, 11.4 assists and 11.4 rebounds.

Westbrook also owns the record for the most triple-doubles in a season when he notched 42 in 2016-17 and broke Wilt Chamberlain's record of 11 in a month earlier this season, which the big man accomplished in March 1968.

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Despite the list of impressive accomplishments, there is something of a narrative that Westbrook has stat-padded at times while going for triple-doubles.

The 32-year-old took exception to that after he broke Chamberlain's record for triple-doubles in a month during a loss to the San Antonio Spurs in April.

"I don't care what anybody thinks of this whatever they want to call it 'stat-padding' or 'not useful,'" he told reporters. "I think it's very interesting that it's not useful when I'm doing it. It wasn't useful when Magic [Johnson] and Oscar [Robertson] and those guys were doing it. Now that I do it and it looks easy, this s--- ain't easy, though. I'll tell you that. It ain't easy."

Stat-padding or not, Westbrook is one triple-double away from doing something no player has done before.

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