Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook posted the first triple-double with at least 50 points since 1975 (the last to do so was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) on Friday night in his team’s 113-110 overtime win over the Phoenix Suns. Westbrook finished the game with 51 points (on 17-for-44 shooting), 13 rebounds, and 10 assists, while also chipping in two steals.
There is little doubt that it is now the Russell Westbrook Show in Oklahoma City, as the team needed his super-human effort just to win the game on Friday, as he scored the go-ahead basket in the game’s waning moments, before icing it with two additional free throws. It’s his second double-double in as many games, and there will be more where that came from.
With Kevin Durant having departed this summer for Golden State, Westbrook (and forward Nick Collison) is the last remaining vestibule of the Seattle SuperSonics that started the nearly decade-long odyssey in Oklahoma City. Selected with the fourth overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft out of UCLA, Westbrook has blossomed from a player who averaged 15.3 points per game as a rookie into the 2014-15 scoring champion (28.1 PPG), a five-time All-Star, and the reigning two-time NBA All-Star Game MVP.
Last season, with Durant still in town, Westbrook averaged a double-double. His 7.8 rebounds last year were a career-high, but he’s grabbed 25 in the first two games of 2016-17. While he will be without the security blanket of Durant to knock down shots and supply him with assists, he’ll unquestionably be drawing more attention as he continues to put up an inhumane number of shots (44 on Friday night).