Just 48 hours after Russell Westbrook put together a 33-points, 19-rebound, 15-assist effort to tie Oscar Robertson for the NBA’s all-time record for triple-doubles, the Washington Wizards guard took the floor at State Farm Arena in Atlanta with a chance to make history. Given that fellow star guard Bradley Beal was sidelined, Westbrook entered the night with a wide-open canvas in which to add to his already impressive legacy and, with the Wizards in the middle of a playoff race, Washington needed everything Westbrook could provide.
It took Westbrook a half to surpass double-digit points and three quarters to get 10-plus assists. He needed to wait until the fourth quarter rolled around to secure his tenth rebound of the night, but with 8:32 left in the frame, Westbrook achieved immortality by pulling down a rebound off of a miss by Danilo Gallinari to give him his 182nd career triple-double.
THE REBOUND THAT MADE HISTORY. pic.twitter.com/aMhk4fVCr1
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 11, 2021
Westbrook is in the midst of an unthinkable run of triple-doubles that began on March 13. In the 33 games including Monday’s contest against the Hawks, he produced a triple-double on 26 occasions. That includes 18 triple-doubles in the last 21 contests, and Westbrook is putting up video game-level numbers, including more than 13 assists and 13 rebounds per game.
This season’s performance, combined with years of staggering accomplishments, set Westbrook up to post a mark that may never be challenged again. With that in mind, Robertson recently offered his blessings and praised Westbrook in the process.
“There’s no doubt about it,” Robertson told Marc Stein of the New York Times earlier this month when prompted on whether he wanted Westbrook to break the record. “I hope he gets it. I think he’s one of the elite guards in basketball.”
The Wizards have plenty of work to do in their quest to reach the playoffs, and Westbrook’s recent run is a big reason they will be able to participate in the East’s play-in tournament. Still, Westbrook’s career took center stage on Monday and it felt almost like a foregone conclusion that he would reach double-figures in points, assists, and rebounds. That is an incredible testament in itself.